The rapid evolution of information and communications technology since 1995 has given rise to new concern about the handling of personal data and the protection of privacy in a global context. The EU's response is the General Data Protection Regulation, which was approved by the European Parliament in 2016 after more than four years of negotiation and around 4,000 amendments, finally coming into force two years after its publication in the Official Journal, on May 25, 2018.
The regulation requires companies to adopt various measures to become compliant with the new data protection rules, especially taking into account the fact that data protection authorities will henceforth have the power to impose heavy financial penalties in the event of infringements.
In September 2017 Luxembourg's parliament began consideration of draft legislation designed to complement the GDPR, making use of the room for manoeuvre the regulation allows EU member states to enact additional legislation regarding the protection of personal data. Parts of the draft bill have been criticised by several of the public and private bodies invited to offer their opinions, prompting the Luxembourg government to introduce amendments to the legislation.
The law of 1 August 2018 ensuring the proper application of the GDPR shows the legislator’s intention to strengthen protection of personal data and to expand the powers of the Luxembourg Data Protection Authority (CNPD) through the authority to sanction infringements of the GDPR. Therefore, companies processing personal data are strongly recommended to adopt measures specifically designed to comply with the new obligations and ensure transparency.
The law demonstrates the legislator’s intention to move beyond mere mechanical application of the GDPR in Luxembourg, notably by ensuring that the right of employees as data subjects are fully respected, giving more powers to the CNPD and establishing an authority to coordinate and ensure data protection within state entities and public bodies.
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