HomeInsightsEuropean Data Protection Supervisor publishes Priorities for providing advice in 2017 to EU legislator

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Part of the EDPS’s role is to advise the EU legislator on advancing fundamental rights, in particular the right to privacy and data protection. Every year, the EDPS publishes his priorities for the year.

The EDPS has identified three key priority areas for 2017:

  • revision of the data protection rules for EU institutions under Regulation 45/2001/EC: the EDPS will work to ensure that the rules for data processing applicable to EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies are aligned as much as possible with the principles of the GDPR;
  • ensuring protection of confidentiality and privacy in electronic communications: the EDPS will contribute to the ongoing review of the e-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC), focusing, amongst other things, on the need to translate adequately into secondary EU law the principle of confidentiality of electronic communications enshrined in Article 7 of the Charter and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and
  • contributing to a Security Union and stronger borders based on respect for fundamental rights: the initiatives which, in the EDPS’s view, are likely to have serious implications for the protection of privacy and personal data include in particular the implementation of the Security Union agenda and the Action Plan of terrorist financing, as well as several initiatives planned in the context of EU borders and security.

In addition, the EDPS says that it will, no later than 15 March 2017, publish an Opinion on the Council’s proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content.

The EDPS will also “closely monitor” the proposed new framework for adequacy decisions on the exchange of personal data with third countries. It is also currently closely monitoring ongoing initiatives including negotiations and possible new trade agreements (e.g. with Japan, Canada, Australia, Chile and New Zealand) and possible agreements in the law enforcement sector, all in relation to their potential impact on privacy and data protection.

The EDPS will also provide input to the Commission’s consultation on “Building a European Data Economy”, which, amongst other issues, explores the rules and regulations impeding the free flow of data and suggests ways of removing unjustified or disproportionate data location restrictions.

Finally, the EDPS will publish a “toolkit” to assist policy makers and the co-legislator in assessing the necessity of interference with the fundamental right to data protection. The EDPS will follow up with a background document on the principle of proportionality in EU data protection law. To access the EDPS 2017 priorities document, click here.