A day-long conference on European data protection will be held in Berlin on May 7. Representatives of the European Commission and the Parliament, as well as EU member countries and legal practitioners will be taking part in the 2nd European Data Protection Day, organized by Euroforum. Privacy partner Ulrich Wuermeling, based in Latham’s Frankfurt office, is chairing the conference that will focus specifically on the planned reform of Europe’s data protection law.

The European Commission will present the draft Data Protection Regulation at the conference. The presentation will include a video message from Vice-President Viviane Reding as well as a detailed review of the reform package by Thomas Zerdick, Member of the European Commission’s Justice Directorate, who will take part in a discussion with practitioners.

At present, the proposed reform is with the European Parliament and the Council. The first opinion from the Parliament is expected by the end of the year and soon after the opinion of the Council. If both the Council and the Parliament reach agreement from the first or second reading, the reform could pass as early as 2013 and take effect in 2015 or 2016, retiring most of the national privacy laws in Europe.

Comments on the draft will be offered in a conference keynote address from European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx. The international and national implications of the planned reform will be presented by the UK Data Protection Commissioner, Christopher Graham, and the Data Protection Officer of Daimler AG, Hans-Joachim Rieß. Shadow rapporteur Axel Voss of the European Parliament will then take part in a discussion on the implications of the planned reform for businesses. This discussion will offer participants the opportunity to raise questions and issues of concern about the draft regulation. The remainder of the conference will be dedicated to data protection issues worldwide.