According to the release, the proposal has come as a response to recent data breaches similar to the massive Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, when the UK consultancy managed to get access to personal data of millions of users without their consent to target people who could potentially vote for then-Republican candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential election.
"Constitutional Affairs Committee backed a proposal introducing penalties on European political parties deliberately breaching data protection to tamper with EU elections. The new provisions are aimed at protecting the electoral process from online disinformation campaigns based on misuse of voters' personal data," the press release published on the official website of the European Parliament read.
Before entering into force, the committee's decision will have to be submitted for inter-institutional discussions and approved both by the rest of the parliament and the European Council.
Elections to the European Parliament are set to take place on May 23-26.