Technological advancement, most centrally big data processing and the interconnectedness of digital devices, allow for the collection and usage of personal data in increasingly complex and opaque ways, thus posing significant threats to privacy and data protection. Against this background, the EDPS ethics initiative has been calling for a broad understanding of privacy and data protection as core values central to protecting human dignity, autonomy and the democratic functioning of our societies. For more information on the EDPS work on ethics click here.
2019 could be described as a year of transition, across Europe and the world. With new legislation on data protection in the EU now in place, the greatest challenge moving into 2020 and beyond is to ensure that this legislation produces the promised results. Awareness of the issues surrounding data protection and privacy, and the importance of protecting these fundamental rights, is at an all-time high and this momentum cannot be allowed to decline.
This Annual Report provides an insight into all EDPS activities in 2019, which was the last year of a five-year EDPS mandate. EDPS activities therefore focused on consolidating the achievements of previous years, assessing the progress made and starting to define priorities for the future.
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This report provides an overview of the activities carried out by the EDPS from 2015-2019. In particular, it focuses on how the EDPS has worked towards implementing the objectives set out in the EDPS Strategy 2015-2019, which relate to digitisation, global partnerships and the modernisation of data protection. This involved not only contributing historical pieces of legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation and Regulation 2018/1725, but also bringing the concepts of ethics and accountability to the forefront of data protection discourse and application.