A key advisory body has criticised the European Commission for failing to implement tough rules into its draft legislation on changes to European data protection laws.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has warned that the rules laid out in the justice commissioner’s proposal, which was published at the turn of the year, fall short of an all-embracing overhaul of the 17-year-old Data Protection Directive legislation.

Speaking about the legislation the day after the Ministry of Justice closed its consultation period for UK businesses and other interested parties to put their views on the proposals forward, Peter Hustinx, the European data protection supervisor, said he was not satisfied with the legislation in its current form.

Adding: “The proposed rules for data protection in the law enforcement area are unacceptably weak. In many instances there is no justification whatsoever for departing from the rules provided in the proposed regulation.

“The law enforcement area requires some specific rules, but not a general lowering of the level of data protection.

“The proposed regulation constitutes a huge step forward for the right to data protection inEurope. 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.”

Despite aiming some heavy criticism at the legislation, Mr Hustinx, said he did welcome some elements of the legislation, including the fact the new law will make the data protection a single piece of legislation for each member state, removing complexities and inconsistencies for firms operating acrossEurope.