European Data Protection Supervisor publishes first Annual Report of the new data protection era

The EDPS says that 2018 was a busy year as well as a pivotal year for data protection in general. Under the new General Data Protection Regulation, the EDPS says that the rights of every individual living in the EU are now “better protected than ever”.

Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: Data protection hit the headlines in 2018. Public awareness about the value of online privacy is at an all time high, while concern about the abuse of personal data by online service providers remains a topic of enquiry for governments around the world. In the EU, new rules on data protection go a long way towards addressing concerns, but more is required. Agreement on a new ePrivacy Regulation is urgent, but in the digital world we also need to look beyond rules and regulations. Through initiatives focused on digital ethics and greater regulatory cooperation the EDPS is determined to play a decisive part in shaping the digital future in the EU and further afield.

The 2018 Annual Report provides an insight into all EDPS activities in 2018. Chief among these were efforts to prepare for the new legislation. Working with the new European Data Protection Board, the EDPS says that he aims to ensure consistent protection of individuals’ rights, wherever they live in the EU.

The EDPS says that his office has also worked hard to instigate a debate on digital ethics. These efforts reached a “diverse and global audience” during the 2018 International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, co-hosted by the EDPS. Meanwhile, through his Digital Clearinghouse initiative, the EDPS says he succeeded in bringing together regulators from competition, data protection and consumer protection in an attempt to develop more coherent and consistent responses to the challenges posed by the digital economy. The EDPS says that he remains committed to developing these initiatives in 2019, as part of his efforts to ensure effective protection of fundamental rights in the digital world.

As we move into 2019, and the last year of the current EDPS mandate, the EDPS says he will continue to work with the EDPB, international organisations and others to promote a global alliance, dedicated to tackling the technological challenges of the future. In June, he will publish his reflections on the future of data protection in the EU and globally, as part of his continued efforts to inspire those working within and outside the field to unite in defence of human dignity and fundamental rights in the digital world. To read the EDPS’s press release in full and for a link to the 2018 Annual Report, click here.