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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04/05/2015
4
May
2015

Value of the EU Data Protection Reform against the Big Data challenges

Keynote address by Giovanni Buttarelli given at the 5th European Data Protection Days, Berlin

02/03/2015
2
Mar
2015

EDPS Strategy 2015-2019

"EDPS Strategy 2015-2019" speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, 2 March 2015

03/02/2015
3
Feb
2015

Antitrust, Privacy and Big Data

Speaking points of Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels

23/01/2015
23
Jan
2015
05/01/2015
5
Jan
2015

Big data, big challenges

Article by Giovanni Buttarelli for New Europe

14/10/2014
14
Oct
2014

Mauritius

Mauritius Declaration on the Internet of ThingsPDF icon
Resolution on Big DataPDF icon
Resolution on enforcement cooperationPDF icon
Resolution on Privacy in the digital agePDF icon
Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation ArrangementPDF icon
14/07/2014
14
Jul
2014

Ensuring more effective data protection in an age of big data

Contribution of Peter Hustinx to European Voice online debate on big data and consent.

07/07/2014
7
Jul
2014

Newsletter Nr. 42

The July 2014 edition of the EDPS Newsletter covers EDPS Opinions on asset freezing and Big Data and many other EDPS activities.

21/05/2014
21
May
2014

The EU Data Protection Reform: Updated Perspectives and the Challenges posed by Big Data

Speaking points of Giovanni Buttarelli, Inet 2014, "Internet: Privacy and Digital Content in a Global Context" - Istanbul.

01/04/2014
1
Apr
2014

Opportunities and challenges in the digital era: big data and moral hazard

Speaking points of Peter Hustinx, European Consumer Summit 2014: "European Consumers in the Digital Era", Brussels.

26/03/2014
26
Mar
2014

Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data

Preliminary Opinion on "Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data: The interplay between data protection, competition law and consumer protection in the Digital Economy"

26/03/2014
26
Mar
2014

Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data

The collection and control of massive amounts of personal data are a source of market power for the biggest players in the global market for internet services, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) today. Personal information has become a form of currency to pay for so-called 'free' online services and is a valuable intangible asset for an increasing number of companies doing business in the EU. This requires closer interaction between different regulators.

07/10/2013
7
Oct
2013

Inquiry on electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens

Contribution of Peter Hustinx for the LIBE Committee - Public Hearing, Strasbourg

28/03/2013
28
Mar
2013

Sharing personal information and respecting privacy at home

Speech delivered by Peter Hustinx at Le Point Conference "Connected and Intelligent Home", Paris

20/03/2013
20
Mar
2013

EDPS: Enormous energy put into reforming data protection rules must deliver strong and effective protection for EU citizens

Last week, the EDPS sent additional comments on the reform of the EU rules governing data protection to the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council in view of today's debate on the subject in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE). These comments relate to specific areas that require clarification and are a reaction to a number of amendments proposed by various Parliament committees, including LIBE.

25/01/2012
25
Jan
2012

EDPS welcomes a "huge step forward for data protection in Europe", but regrets inadequate rules for the police and justice area

The EDPS congratulates the Commission on the publication today of the package for reforming the data protection rules in Europe. The Commission has presented two legislative proposals: a general Regulation on data protection and a specific Directive for the area of police and justice.

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