Did you know...?
Did you know that your clicks and likes on social media can be used to profile you and influence your behaviour? Whether through online shopping, social media or search engine queries, you leave a trail of information about yourself. Along with benefits, new technologies and use of the internet can also present risks to your personal data.
Privacy and Data Protection, though connected, are commonly recognised all over the world as two separate rights. In Europe, they are considered vital components for a sustainable democracy.
In the EU, privacy or the right to a private life, to be autonomous, in control of information about yourself, to be let alone, plays a pivotal role.
Data protection is about protecting any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural (living) person, including names, dates of birth, photographs, video footage, email addresses and telephone numbers. Other information such as IP addresses and communications content - related to or provided by end-users of communications services - are also considered personal data.
Data protection has precise aims to ensure the fair processing (collection, use, storage) of personal data by both the public and private sectors.
The Right to Data Protection
In addition, article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) obliges the EU to lay down data protection rules for the processing of personal data. The EU is unique in providing for such an obligation in its constitution.
Data Protection Law
In April 2016, the EU adopted a new legal framework -
the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Directive for the law enforcement and police area. Fully applicable across the EU in May 2018, the GDPR is the most comprehensive and progressive piece of data protection legislation in the world, updated to deal with the implications of the digital age.
Data Protection in Practice
For the enforcement of data protection laws to be effective, DPAs are given the power to investigate, detect and punish violations as well as the responsibility to raise awareness of data protection rights and obligations in general.
In the EU, this effectiveness is strengthened by the requirement for DPAs to be independent of any political, governmental or other influence.
Furthermore, good cooperation between DPAs through the European Data Protection Board - or EDPB - ensures greater consistency of data protection in the EU.
The European Data Protection Supervisor - or EDPS - is the EU’s independent data protection authority.
The European Data Protection Board
- provides general guidance (including guidelines, recommendations and best practices) to clarify the law;
- issues Consistency Opinions or Decisions to guarantee the consistent application of the GDPR by the EEA SAs;
- promotes cooperation and the effective exchange of information and best practices between national SAs;
- advises the European Commission on any issue related to the protection of personal data and new proposed legislation in the European Union.
The European Data Protection Board
The European Commission and – with regard to GDPR-related matters – the EFTA Surveillance Authority have the right to participate in the activities and meetings of the EDPB without voting rights.
The EDPB was established by the GDPR, and is based in Brussels.
Watch the video on our website or down below to find out more about how the EDPB ensures consistency across the EEA.
Read the brochure to learn more about your rights under the GDPR.
Visit the EDPB website to learn more about our work.
For an overview of the EEA supervisory authorities,
The European Data Protection Supervisor
Data protection is a fundamental right, protected by EU law. The EDPS defends the right of individuals to the protection of their personal data, for example, by raising awareness about the risks associated with the processing, in other words the collection, use or storage of their personal data.
The role of the EDPS’ staff is to find pragmatic solutions to data protection challenges with the aim of protecting people’s rights and freedoms when their personal data is processed.
Visit the EDPS’ website to sign up to the EDPS newsletter, which covers the main developments in EDPS activities and gives a snapshot of our recently adopted Opinions and other documents. Why not also subscribe to the
EDPS TechDispatch reports which aim to explain emerging developments in technology?
Watch the video or read the brochure to find out more about the ways that the EDPS enforces and reinforces EU data protection and privacy standards, both in practice and in law.
Technology has transformed our lives in many positive ways. The internet, for example, plays a significant role in our daily activities. Read more about your data protection rights in the digital era when you deal with the EU institutions, bodies and agencies.
The EDPS has a wide range of powers that allow it to ensure and monitor the consistent enforcement of data protection rules within the EU institutions, bodies and agencies. Take a look at this factsheet to learn more about these enforcement powers.
The processing of personal data - be it collection, storage, use or disclosure - limits the right to the protection of personal data. EU law requires that the processing is both necessary and proportional.
The EDPS’ quick-guide to necessity and proportionality helps the EU institutions, bodies and agencies to assess the compatibility of measures impacting the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
All EU institutions, offices, bodies and agencies process personal data. They do this for many reasons, for example, to recruit staff, to pay salaries, negotiate service contracts or grant access to visitors to their buildings. If these personal data are lost, stolen or accessed either by accident or deliberately, the damage caused to the individuals whose personal data it is, may be serious. This is called a personal data breach. Learn more about the security measures the institutions have to put in place to prevent data breaches by scrolling down to our videos or reading our factsheet on personal data breaches in a nutshell.
Visit the EDPS’ website to learn more about our work.