On 21 December 2016, the Swiss Federal Council issued a preliminary draft of a revised Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA), proposing a major overhaul of the current data protection regime. Businesses are strongly advised to anticipate these changes and adapt their practices in a timely manner.

The overhaul of the DPA has been prompted in part by the changes affecting European legislation. Indeed, two European acts, Regulation EU 2016/679 – the so-called General Data Protection Regulation –, and Directive EU 2016/680 as well as amendments to the Council of Europe Treaty 108 bring extensive changes to the legal landscape.

Moreover, the fast-evolving technological backdrop has progressively been eroding the relevance of the present DPA, which was drafted before the emergence of many of today’s key technologies and processes.