[edit 7/MAR/12: Additional article from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS):
“On the package, Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: “The proposed Regulation constitutes a huge step forward for the right to data protection in Europe. However, we are unfortunately still far from a comprehensive set of data protection rules on national and EU level in all areas of EU policy. The proposals are disappointing in the law enforcement area, and they leave many existing EU data protection instruments untouched, such as the data protection rules for the EU institutions and bodies and also all the specific law enforcement instruments.“”
Read all the article to hear about more concerns from the Supervisor]
There’s an article from the EU entitled, “US lobbying waters down EU data protection reform”
In it there is discussion from the EU Commission about proposed changes to data protection laws within the EU and without, and the handling of personal data. Here is a background article: “Commission strife risks delaying data protection overhaul“.
The United States of America, having many internet companies actively handling EU businesses and citizens’ data, would be indirectly effected by any changes to EU laws. The US have concerns and have been lobbying vigorously as EDRi point out:
US concerns are not share by me, I share the concerns of EDRI:
“European Digital Rights (EDRI), which represents 28 privacy and civil rights organisations, says the original proposal included stricter requirements than the text eventually published by the Commission.
“It is noteworthy that the US currently uses instruments such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Patriot Act to retrieve data on (e.g.) the political activities of foreign individuals, who may have no links whatsoever with the USA, via companies with US offices,” reads a note of EDRI.
With the initial text proposed by the Commission, this activity would have been seriously hampered. But, after intense lobbying, the proposal has changed in a way that is likely not to have a significant impact on these intrusive operations, EDRI claims.”
Another important article mentioning two instrments to be modified: “the General Data Protection Regulation , intended to replace the 1995 Directive, and the Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive,  intended to replace the 2008 Framework Decision. (under 3).”
EU Business & citizens data needs protection, it needs higher levels of protection and the bar for that protection should not be lowered by modifying legislation, and should certainly not be lowered because extra-EU forces lobby thusly.
EU data should be black-boxed withing EU acquis until extra-EU authorities meet EU acquis and EU acquis should not be lowered to meet extra-EU authorities demands. Extra-EU authorities should up their levels of protection to meet EU-acquis.
Found this mentioning a call from the UK’s Ministry of Justice for view on this upcoming EU Directive  and Regulation, call for views reportedly closes on 6th March 2012:
Some JISC Legal views & info mentioning “Regulation” as well as the “Directive” (ie, two pieces of legal works for the price of one!):
“Unlike the Directive, the Regulation when finalised will apply directly to each member state without the need for further legislation in each EU country to implement it. The stated aim of this is to ensure a consistency in protection for individuals and application across the EU i.e. one law on data processing across the EU and to simplify international transfer of data beyond the EU in recognition of the increasing prevalence of cloud computing and social networking.
The proposed Directive relates to processing (including cooperation with law enforcement authorities in other countries) by police and judicial authorities for prevention, investigation etc of crime. It has been recognised that the existing laws in this area in individual member states are complex and as a Directive needs to be followed up by individual national laws to implement it, it was felt this would give the necessary flexibility. It was also felt it would provide the best way of ensuring that the EU level rules encourage cooperation between the law enforcement authorities with the aim of processing and exchanging information more quickly to aid in the prevention of transnational crime and terrorism. ”
Viviane Reding, Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Karel de Gucht (Trade), Cecilia Malmström, European Parliament, EU Council, Monique Goyens, European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC), Business Software Alliance, Thomas Boué, European Digital Rights (EDRI), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Patriot Act, Christopher Kuner, Hunton & Williams, Paul De Hert, Vagelis Papakonstantinou, Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ)