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Israel Proposes Superior Rights to Europeans to Ease EU Adequacy Concerns

Top Israeli privacy practitioners urge the Ministry of Justice to avoid granting Europeans preferred privacy protection over Israelis.

On Thursday, July 7, the Ministry of Justice and Protection of Privacy Authority held a discussion with privacy attorneys on proposed new regulations. 

Titled: Protection of Privacy Regulations (Directive on Data Transferred to Israel from an EEA Member State), 5782-2022 the proposed regulations will grant EEA originated personal data with four privacy rights: the right of erasure, enhanced notice obligations, and an obligation to implement data retention and data accuracy mechanisms.

While the right of erasure is not part of the Israeli laws (though many Israeli companies comply with this right in practice), the notice requirement is an enhancement to existing notice obligations under the Protection of Privacy Law. The two additional proposed obligations (retention and accuracy mechanisms), seem like an attempt to reduce to practice similar principles under Article 5 of the GDPR, arguably, going farther than the GDPR provisions.   

For the past several years, the EU Commission has been reviewing the 2011 adequacy recognition of Israeli privacy laws, and the proposed regulations are published to support Israeli efforts to maintain the recognition, while attempts to update the timeworn Protection of Privacy Law, have failed so far.

The privacy practitioners, including the author, who attended the discussion, have commended the Ministry of Justice’s decision to use its powers to advance new regulations, pointing out that Israel is in a state of privacy emergency.

At the same time, they have also stated that granting superior privacy rights to Europeans only would be a grave mistake and that their discriminating approach will not stand the Supreme Court’s scrutiny.

The practitioners have offered a united stance, calling the Ministry of Justice to seize the moment and advance general regulations which will apply the proposed enhanced rights to everyone and continue proposing regulations to fill in existing gaps in the law. While admitting that enacting government regulations, rather than parliamentary legislation, is not the high road, nevertheless, it is an available path and should be used in this time of crisis.

Israel GDPR