On April 12, 2016, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted to approve the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) by a 54-3 vote, with one abstention. The GDPR replaces Directive 95/46/EC, enacted in 1995, and will significantly change EU data protection laws.
This development clears the way for the European Parliament to rubber stamp the GDPR at a plenary session on April 14, 2016, completing the legislative process for adoption of the GDPR. The GDPR is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union within the coming weeks. Companies will then have a two-year grace period to prepare for compliance following the date of publication.