Marina Yannakoudakis MEP

Marina Yannakoudakis (born 16 April 1956) is a Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament for London first elected at the 2009 European Parliament election.

Response to Naked Citizens email


Thank you for your email.

I understand your concerns, and please be assured that this is something which certainly has not slipped through the net or passed our attention, the Conservative delegation submitted a large number of amendments to Data Protection proposals, which aim to fulfil high data protection standards and which we also hope reflect the needs of British and European businesses.

Whilst it is too early in the negotiations to be able to tell you the outcome, please be assured that this is an issue which we are working incredibly hard on, and is one which the Parliament is giving much thought to.

As the law currently stands, if parties are processing data under the legitimate interests listed in EU law, the use of the data may make consent by the data subject unnecessary. Under this exception, the processing of personal data can be considered legal as long as these interests are not overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject. This would include the processing of sensitive data.

The European Commission's intention behind the current proposals on direct marketing was to allow for a similar regime which is currently applied with the 95 Directive. The existing 95 Directive which is currently implemented allows for direct market when the person processing has a "legitimate interests" in doing so. In this context consent is meant to be irrelevant and should continue to be the case with the new Regulation. The new Regulation will provide for the right to object to your data being used, and to provide citizens with better overall rights which supplement the current rules. The focus should be on sound implementation rather than over regulation.

However, whilst the European Commission may have a more practical approach to direct marketing, the rapporteur looks to want to strengthen the rules in this area. Hopefully the Parliament's work on compromising and negotiating over the next few months will clarify and minimise potential misinterpretation and restrictions of the rules which will be put in place.

That is why myself, and my Conservative colleagues working on this file will be working to find a majority with other political parties in the parliament which represents the view that we want to avoid unnecessary regulation and over prescription. We are aware of the potential pitfalls of being too prescriptive on such an issue, and seek to maintain the rules which are currently in place and work perfectly well. Instead we will seek to clarify the text in order to avoid misinterpretation and inadvertent harm to those carrying out legitimate activities, and improve implementation.

Furthermore, this piece of legislation is a Regulation, and therefore, all Member States are obliged to adopt the law when it is finished. That is why this issue is a particular priority for the Conservative delegation. The UK government is fighting hard within the Council, alongside the UK Conservatives in the Parliament to make sure we can achieve a good outcome for both consumers and businesses.

Yours sincerely

Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London