The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) regularly publishes TechDispatch reports that aim to explain emerging developments in technology. The TechDispatch reports are part of the wider EDPS activities on technology monitoring

Each TechDispatch provides factual descriptions of a new technology, preliminarily assesses possible impacts on privacy and the protection of personal data, as we understand them now, and provides links to further recommended reading. 

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TechDispatch #1/2023 - Central Bank Digital Currency

Countries around the world are examining whether they should offer central bank money to the public not only as banknotes and coins, but also in digital form.
The fact that the majority of central banks around the world have already started exploring the possibility of launching a state-owned digital currency comes as a response to the increased adoption of digital, contactless payments, cryptocurrencies and e-commerce, further accelerated by Covid-19, b and also due to the possibilities offered by these digital currencies as a more flexible monetary tool compared to the existing non-digital currency.
Privacy, the protection of personal data and security are amongst the most important requirements, which impact the core design choices to be taken, as well as expected citizens’ trust and acceptance.

Available languages: English

TechDispatch #1/2022 - Federated Social Media Platforms

The Fediverse consists of many independent, interoperable social media platforms that allow their users to interact with each other across those platforms. In the absence of vendor lock-in, users can choose a platform with terms and data location matching their preferences.

Available languages: English

TechDispatch #2/2021 - Card-based Payments

In the last years, citizens have been using many new technologies that facilitate payments; such increase has also accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers and businesses are looking for a more simple, personalised, and economically feasible way of conducting their day-to-day transactions. Cash payments are being replaced by cashless payments via an ever-growing landscape of emerging solutions: beyond debit cards or credit cards, contactless payments using Near Field Communication (NFC) or Quick Response (QR) technologies and cardless payments via smartphone apps are just a few examples of new card-based payment methods.


TechDispatch #1/2021 - Facial Emotion Recognition

Facial Emotion Recognition (FER) is the technology that analyses facial expressions from both static images and videos in order to reveal information on one’s emotional state. The complexity of facial expressions, the potential use of the technology in any context, and the involvement of new technologies such as artificial intelligence raise significant privacy risks.

Available languages: English

TechDispatch #3/2020 - Personal Information Management Systems

Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) are new products and services that help individuals to have more control over their personal data. PIMS enable individuals themselves to manage and control their online identity.

The PIMS concept offers a new approach in which individuals are the “holders” of their own personal information. PIMS allow individuals to manage their personal data in secure, local or online storage systems and share them when and with whom they choose. Individuals would be able to decide what services can use their data, and what third parties can share them. This allows for a human centric approach to personal data and to new business models, protecting against unlawful tracking and profiling techniques that aim at circumventing key data protection principles.

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Available languages: English