European Data Protection Supervisor
European Data Protection Supervisor

Big Data & Digital Clearinghouse

Big Data & Digital Clearinghouse

Big data and data mining put a strain on both the right to privacy and data protection, but also other fundamental rights including freedom of expression and non-discrimination.

This is because with the large amounts of data that is processed for data mining and the aggregation and analysis of huge volumes of diversely sourced information or big data, the individual risks being lost and defined only by data and algorithms.

Big data, along with machine learning and artificial intelligence, is therefore a long-term strategic concern not only for data protection and privacy regulators like the EDPS, but for other enforcement agencies in the areas of competition and consumer protection.

In light of this, the EDPS proposed the establishment of a Digital Clearinghouse to bring together agencies from the areas of competition, consumer and data protection willing to share information and discuss how best to enforce rules in the interests of the individual.

With our Opinions, workshops and also our proposal for a Digital Clearinghouse, the EDPS has kick-started a worldwide debate on the implications of big data and the need for reflection by legislators and regulators.

In addition to the documents below, you can also read about Big Data in our Reference Library.

The first meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse takes places in Brussels on 29 May 2017. All regulators in the digital space, based in the EU or around the world, have been invited to take part in an initial brainstorm on how the forum can best add value to their work on the ground. We are delighted that Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, has agreed to say a few words at the beginning of the day. There will be a discussion on the biggest crossover issues facing digital regulators with esteemed experts including Bruce Schneier, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, Inge Graef, Tristan Harris and Alexandre de Streel and as well as a closed meeting for regulators only.

 

Statement from first meeting of the digital clearinghouse

The first meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse was attended by authorities with regulatory responsibilities for various aspects of the digitised economy. There were shared concerns about information and power disparities between individuals and the service providers whom they rely on. Discussions took place on common short and longer term issues including data portability, fake news and voter manipulation, the emergence of attention markets and opacity of algorithms which determine how personal data are collected and used. There were also discussions on the overlap between areas of law.
Four areas of overlap or possible gaps in regulation were discussed: unfair or harmful terms and conditions for digital platforms, security considerations for connected things and apps, the 'fake news' phenomenon and the longer term impact of big tech sector mergers. These areas could be focus for the next meeting which will take place on the autumn. Participants started the discussion on identifying principles for cooperation based on past experiences in order to build scenarios and options for responding to those scenarios. A secure communication channel should be established for authorities wishing to engage in digital clearinghouse discussions.
All Clearinghouse discussions take place without prejudice to the competences of independent authorities and existing networks.

 

European Parliament endorses the Digital Clearinghouse

On 14 March 2017 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on 'fundamental rights implications of big data: privacy, data protection, non-discrimination, security and law-enforcement' which included a call for "closer cooperation and coherence between different regulators and supervisory competition, consumer protection and data protection authorities at national and EU level should be encouraged, in order to ensure a consistent approach to and understanding of the implications of big data for fundamental rights; whereas the establishment and further development of the Digital Clearing House  as a voluntary network of enforcement bodies can contribute to enhancing their work and their respective enforcement activities and can help deepen the synergies and the safeguarding of the rights and interests of individuals". 

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Tuesday, 20 June, 2017
20
Jun
2017

Newsletter (N°
52
)

In the June 2017 edition of the EDPS Newsletter we introduce you to our new-look Newsletter and cover the EDPS Opinion on ePrivacy, our continuing work on data ethics and the launch of our 2016 Annual Report, as well as many other EDPS activities.
25/05/2017
25
May
2017

FutureTech Congress in Warsaw

Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli at the FutureTech Confress in Warsaw, Poland, for the panel "The impact of the GDPR on solutions based on Big Data processing"

17/05/2017
17
May
2017

19th Meeting of the Central and Eastern European DPAs

Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli at the 19th Meeting of the Central and Eastern European Data Protection Authorities (CEEDPA) in Tbilisi, Georgia
 

04/05/2017
4
May
2017

2016 Annual Report - The state of privacy 2017: EDPS provides mid-mandate report

The new EU data protection framework consists of much more than just the GDPR. New rules for the EU institutions and ePrivacy are yet to be finalised, and remain a key focal point for EDPS work. As well as providing advice to the legislator on these new rules, the EDPS has started working with the EU institutions and bodies to prepare them for the changes to come. A particular focus of his efforts in 2016 was on promoting accountability, a central pillar of the GDPR which it is safe to assume will also be integrated into the new rules for EU institutions and bodies.

In 2016, the EDPS also made a considerable effort to help move the global debate on data protection and privacy forward and mainstream data protection into international policies. He advised the EU legislator on the Umbrella agreement and the Privacy Shield and engaged with data protection and privacy commissioners from every continent. He also continued to pursue new initiatives, such as the Ethics Advisory Group, through which he intends to stimulate global debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era.

The EDPS aims to make data protection as simple and effective as possible for all involved. This requires ensuring that EU policy both reflects the realities of data protection in the digital era and encourages compliance through accountability.

Full text of the Annual Report:PDF icon
E-book (e-pub):File
04/05/2017
4
May
2017

The state of privacy 2017: EDPS provides mid-mandate report

As we approach the mid-point of the current EDPS mandate and continue the countdown to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU must build on current momentum to reinforce its position as the leading force in the global dialogue on data protection and privacy in the digital age, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said today to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), as he presented his 2016 Annual Report.

04/05/2017
4
May
2017

The state of privacy 2017: mid-mandate report

The state of privacy 2017: mid-mandate report, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli for the presentation of the 2016 EDPS Annual Report to the LIBE Committee, European Parliament

01/03/2017
1
Mar
2017

European statistics

EDPS Opinion on the proposed common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households

26/01/2017
26
Jan
2017

Digital Rights and Enforcement

Opening statement by Giovanni Buttarelli for panel on Digital Rights and Enforcement, 10th Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference, Brussels, Belgium

12/01/2017
12
Jan
2017

Proposed Digital Content Directive

Giovanni Buttarelli's Address to Socialists and Democrats Group workshop on the Proposed Digital Content Directive, Brussels, Belgium

07/11/2016
7
Nov
2016

Privacy in an age of hyperconnectivity

Keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli to the Privacy and Security Conference 2016, Rust am Neusiedler See, Austria

27/10/2016
27
Oct
2016

Newsletter Nr. 49

The October 2016 edition of the EDPS Newsletter covers recently adopted Opinions on Big Data and the EU border package, the EDPS Guidelines on Whistleblowing and many other EDPS activities.

29/09/2016
29
Sep
2016

Big Data individual rights and enforcement

Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli at EDPS-BEUC Joint Conference, Brussels

Closing speechPDF icon
23/09/2016
23
Sep
2016

Big Data

EDPS Opinion on coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of Big Data

23/09/2016
23
Sep
2016

Statement: The coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of Big Data

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, has announced that he intends to set up a Digital Clearing House to promote more coherent enforcement of EU rules.  In a new Opinion, Coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big data, published today, he drew attention to the mounting concern at concentration of market power and personal data in fewer and fewer hands, with the internet experience characterised by ‘walled gardens’ and take-it-or-leave-it data use policies. 

17/06/2016
17
Jun
2016

What impact of the data protection on the future of a global digital economy?

Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli at Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, Paris, France

24/05/2016
24
May
2016

2015 Annual Report - Data protection for the digital generation: the countdown to the GDPR begins

The EDPS focused considerable efforts in 2015 on ensuring the successful adoption of new and effective data protection rules, providing legislators with detailed recommendations in the form of an app. He now turns his attention to the successful implementation of these rules and the reform of the current Regulation, which will apply to the work of the EDPS and the other EU institutions and bodies.

The EDPS launched several new initiatives in 2015, such as those on data ethics and big data. He also worked closely with the Article 29 Working Party to analyse the consequences of the Court of Justice of the European Union's ruling on Safe Harbour and advise the Commission on alternative solutions. These and other initiatives will continue into 2016 and beyond to ensure that the EU remains at the forefront of data protection and privacy policy in the years to come.

Full text of the Annual Report:PDF icon
E-book (e-pub):File
08/03/2016
8
Mar
2016

Les données et la concurrence dans l'économie numérique

Opening statement by Giovanni Buttarelli at the Roundtable on data and competition hosted by l’Autorité de la Concurrence, Paris, France

27/02/2016
27
Feb
2016

Living in a future Big Data world: can prosperity, freedom and fundamental rights be reconciled?

Keynote address by Giovanni Buttarelli to the Delphi Economic Forum, Delphi, Greece

05/02/2016
5
Feb
2016

Fifth Workshop on Data Protection in International Organisations

Opening address given by Giovanni Buttarelli at the Fifth Workshop on Data Protection in International Organisations, Geneva, Switzerland

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