Pending reform of the Federal Act on Data Protection (DPA)

1. April 2015 – Swiss Federal Council intends to strengthen data protection and to reform the Federal Act on Data Protection (DPA)

On 1 April 2015 the Swiss Federal Council decided to undertake a revision of the Federal Act on Data Protection (DPA) and instructed the Federal Department of Justice and Police to submit a preliminary draft for a revision by the end of August 2016 at the latest.

The reform of the DPA shall be coordinated with the current developments on the European level. Both in the EU and at the Council of Europe the provisions on data protection are currently being revised. With the revision of the DPA, the Swiss Federal Council intends to lay the foundations which will allow Switzerland to ratify the modernised Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and, to the extent this is necessary in the context of the further development of the Schengen/Dublin achievements, to integrate EU data protection provisions into Swiss law.

The Swiss Federal Council in particular plans to strengthen the position of the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner and the rights of the data subjects in order to improve the enforcement of the DPA. With the revision of the DPA, the Swiss Federal Council further intends to improve data control and ownership as well as the protection of minors. Finally, according to the Swiss Federal Council, an earlier application of data protection principles shall be achieved by means of fostering the rules of good practice.