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.

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 endorsed “the establishment and further development of the Digital Clearinghouse  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".

The 2017 International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners also endorsed the Clearinghouse in its resolution to calling for greater cooperation between data protection and consumer authorities.

All regulators in the digital space, based in the EU or around the world, are invited to take part in discussions.

The Digital Clearinghouse met for the first time  in Brussels on 29 May 2017. Digital regulators discussions were informed by presentations from Monique Goyens, Bruce Schneier, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, Inge Graef, Tristan Harris and Alexandre de Streel. The statement from first meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse is available here.

The statement from second meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse is available here.  The meeting on 27 November 2017 focused on the four areas of common concern identified in the first meeting, namely fake news and voter manipulation, the emergence of attention markets and opacity of algorithms which determine how personal data are collected and used.  Further updates will be posted here.

The third meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse took place on 21 June 2018. The statement from the third meeting is available here.

The fourth meeting of the Digital Clearinghouse took place on 10 December 2018. The statement from the fourth meeting is available here.

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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

16/12/2015
16
Dec
2015

Newsletter Nr. 46

The December 2015 edition of the EDPS Newsletter covers the EDPS Opinions on Big Data and Digital Ethics and many other EDPS activities.

15/12/2015
15
Dec
2015

Online platforms

EDPS response to the Commission public consultation on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy, 15 December 2015

08/12/2015
8
Dec
2015

The General Data Protection Regulation: Making the world a better place?

Keynote speech given by Giovanni Buttarelli at 'EU Data Protection 2015 Regulation Meets Innovation' event, San Francisco, United States

19/11/2015
19
Nov
2015

Meeting the challenges of big data

Meeting the challenges of big data, A call for transparency, user control, data protection by design and accountability

19/11/2015
19
Nov
2015

EDPS encourages a new debate on Big Data

Today, as the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published his Opinion, Meeting the Challenges of Big Data, he said he wanted to launch a new, open discussion with legislators, regulators, industry, IT experts, academics and civil society to explore how the social benefits that big data brings can be harnessed while better protecting the dignity and the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals in a more effective and innovative way.

08/10/2015
8
Oct
2015

Europe’s big data protection opportunity

Keynote address of Giovanni Buttarelli given at the Banking and Payments Federation, Ireland

30/07/2015
30
Jul
2015

Strategy 2015-2019

This report sets out the Strategy adopted by the EDPS for the period 2015-2019. As data protection affects almost every EU policy area and is a key factor in legitimising and increasing trust in EU policies, the new EDPS Strategy aims to provide a framework through which to promote a culture of data protection in the European institutions. It also promotes the idea of toolkits for policymakers to help them develop innovative solutions to data protection challenges.

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Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS and Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, 2 March 2015
Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS and Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, 2 March 2015
Strategy 2015-2019 - Leading by ExamplePDF icon
Speech by Giovanni ButtarelliPDF icon
Press releasePDF icon
02/07/2015
2
Jul
2015

2014 Annual Report - EU Data Protection Reform: a historic opportunity for Europe

2014 was a year of transition for the EDPS, marked by the delayed selection and appointment of a new Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor. Despite the resulting uncertainty, the EDPS under the calm authority and tireless efforts of Peter Hustinx, whose 10-year tenure as EDPS drew to a close in 2014, continued to make significant progress in mainstreaming data protection in EU policymaking.

Building on this legacy, the EDPS' priorities for 2015, as part of the five year strategy of the dynamic team of new Supervisors, is to help the EU to speak with one voice on data protection to uphold the rights and interests of the individual in our digitalised society. To this end, the adoption of the data protection reform will be a significant milestone for Europe and an important message to the rest of the world.

Full text of the Annual Report:PDF icon
02/07/2015
2
Jul
2015

EU Data Protection Reform: a historic opportunity for Europe

The reform of EU data protection rules is a historic opportunity to adopt future-oriented standards that can inspire countries all around the world, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) to the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the presentation of his Annual Report 2014.

23/06/2015
23
Jun
2015

mHealth at General Assembly of Association Internationale de la Mutualité

Speaking notes from the speech of Wojciech Wiewiórowski on mHealth given at General Assembly of Association Internationale de la Mutualité, Liège, Belgium

19/06/2015
19
Jun
2015

EU Medicines Agencies Network Strategy to 2020

EDPS Comments on EU Medicines Agencies Network Strategy to 2020 - Working together to improve health

EDPS letter regarding comments on EU Medicines Agencies Network Strategy to 2020PDF icon
22/05/2015
22
May
2015

Healthcare on the move

Mobile technology is revolutionising the healthcare market, offering opportunities to benefit the global population with a variety of healthcare needs, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) following the publication of his Opinion on Mobile Health (mHealth). However, as a society we should take care to identify and support solutions which first and foremost serve individuals and respect their choices.

21/05/2015
21
May
2015

The Digital Single Market, data protection and the role of the EDPS to 2020

Speech given by Giovanni Buttarelli at Brussels Matters, Brussels

21/05/2015
21
May
2015

Mobile health

Opinion on Mobile Health - Reconciling technological innovation with data protection  

11/05/2015
11
May
2015

Big data, big data protection: challenges and innovative solutions

Keynote speech given by Giovanni Buttarelli at ERA Conference on Recent Developments in Data Protection Law, Brussels

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