European Data Protection Supervisor
European Data Protection Supervisor

Finance & Economy

Finance & Economy

The financial crisis has emphasised the need to harmonise rules on the functioning of financial markets, a crucial source of financing in today´s economy. The EU actively tries to improve, in particular, the accountability of financial institutions and transparency of financial markets, at the same time combatting tax evasion and money laundering. These legitimate policies often require, in practice, the collection, use and storage of large amounts of personal information. Therefore, it is necessary to balance public policy objectives with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

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04/06/2010
4
Jun
2010

Consultation and updating of the central exclusion database - Committee of the Regions

Opinion of 4 June 2010 on the notification of a prior check relating to the file "Procedures to be applied for the consultation and updating of the central exclusion database" (Case 2010-248)

The purpose of the processing operation is to establish within the Committee of the Regions a procedure that makes it possible to comply with obligations arising from Article 95 of the Financial Regulation. This notice is to be read in parallel with the prior check on the central exclusion database at the Commission (file 2009-0681) adopted at the end of May 2010.

The Accounting Officer of the Committee of the Regions has drawn up and distributed a memorandum for the attention of the financial operators of the Committee of the Regions. The main elements in this memorandum are the organisation of the consultation of the central exclusion database, the recording and updating of the central exclusion database and the provision of information in advance to the legal entities.

The EDPS concludes that there appear to be no violations of the provisions of Regulation No 45/2001, provided that certain recommendations are taken into account. The Committee of the Regions must ensure that the purposes referred to in the clause on specific information appear clearly, so that they are specified and explicit. The Committee of the Regions must also take all necessary measures to ensure that, in the event of a justified request or obvious error, the exclusion is no longer present on the central exclusion database. Finally, the Committee of the Regions must amend the note of the Committee of the Regions in order to stipulate that the transfers shall initially be made to the central exclusion database managed by the Commission and refer, within the context of international transfers, to the additional discussions that the EDPS is to hold on prior checks on the central exclusion database managed by the Commission.

26/05/2010
26
May
2010

Registration of a Data Subject in the Central Exclusion Database - Commission

Opinion of 26 May 2010 on a notification for prior checking regarding the processing operation on personal data concerning the "Registration of a Data Subject in the Central Exclusion Database" (Case 2009-0681)

In view of protecting the financial interests of the institutions, on the basis of the Financial Regulation, the European Commission processes data which are contained in a central exclusion database and which may only be used for the purposes of excluding from any procurement or grant procedures funded with EU Funds or EDF Funds, entities which represent a threat to the European financial interests.

The EDPS conducted his analysis in full cooperation with the Institution from an early stage  of the procedure and concludes that there is no reason to believe that there is a breach of the provisions of Regulation 45/2001. However, the EDPS made some recommendations regarding the prior information of candidates, tenderers and grant applicants to be provided in the call for proposals and call for tenders. Moreover, he underlines the necessity to ensure that in case of manifest error in the inclusion of an entity in the database or if an entity has been cleared, the procedure will entail no legal consequences to it.

15/03/2010
15
Mar
2010

Newsletter Nr. 23

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06/01/2010
6
Jan
2010

Cooperation in the field of taxation

Opinion on the proposal for a Council directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation

16/12/2009
16
Dec
2009
30/10/2009
30
Oct
2009

Combating fraud in the field of value added tax

Opinion on the proposal for a Council Regulation on administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of value added tax (recast), OJ C 66, 17.03.2010, p.1

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03/07/2009
3
Jul
2009

Negotiations EU-US concerning "SWIFT" data

EDPS Comments on the Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise opening of negotiations between the European Union and the United States of America for an international agreement to make available to the United States Treasury Department financial messaging data to prevent and combat terrorism and terrorist financing

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18/03/2008
18
Mar
2008

Legal entity and bank identification - EMCCDA

Answer to a notification for prior checking on the legal entity and bank identification (Case 2008-168)

28/02/2007
28
Feb
2007
01/02/2007
1
Feb
2007

Opinion on the role of the ECB in the SWIFT case

Opinion on the role of the European Central Bank in the SWIFT case

12/12/2006
12
Dec
2006

Financial Regulation

Opinion on proposals for amending the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities and its Implementing Rules (COM(2006) 213 final and SEC(2006) 866 final), OJ C 94, 28.04.2007, p. 12

One of the main points of the proposals is that they foresee the set-up and organisation of a central database common to all institutions and bodies, operated by the Commission, of candidates and tenderers under specific situations of exclusions in case of fraud and allow the exchange of the information contained in the database with authorities at different levels.
Although the EDPS agrees to the principle of a central database in the light of the foreseen purposes of data processing, he underlined that a proactive approach to the rights of the data subjectsshould be respected. Data subjects must be informed beforehand that these data might be made public, and it must be ensured that the data subject's right of access and right to object are respected. Other concerns relate to: 
  • The need for a precise timeframe regarding the update of the information as well as an adequate security protection of the database.
  • The need for specific safeguards in the context of transfers of personal data from the central database and receiving personal data from third countries and international organisations.

Time limits for storage and budgetary control.

13/11/2006
13
Nov
2006

Mutual administrative assistance

Opinion on the Amended Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on mutual administrative assistance for the protection of the financial interests of the European Community against fraud and any other illegal activities, OJ C 94, 28.04.2007, p. 1

The amended proposal sets forth communication and assistance procedures between the Commission and Member States in order to protect the Community financial interests.
The EDPS considers that the proposal on the whole maintains the level of protection of personal data contained in the EU data protection framework; Directive 95/46/EC and Regulation 45/2001.

Nevertheless, the EDPS notes that whether such standards of data protection will indeed be maintained depend on the specific content of implementing legislation for which the proposal creates a legal basis. Since implementing legislation will be crucial for the protection of personal data in this context, the EDPS particularly welcomes the obligation to consult him on the drafting of such implementing legislation.

27/10/2006
27
Oct
2006

Investigations conducted by OLAF

Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No. 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), JO C 91, 26.04.2007, p. 1

The proposal relates to OLAF's operational activities because it aims to amend the Regulation which lays down the rules and constitute the legal basis for investigations, etc. The aim is to:
  • Improve the effectiveness of investigations;
  • Facilitate the exchange between OLAF and the various institutions concerning information about suspected wrongdoings, at both EU and national level; and
  • Guarantee the rights of persons implicated in an investigation, including their right to data protection and privacy and make procedural guarantees stronger.

The EDPS agrees with the significance of the goals and objectives pursued by the proposed amendments, especially regarding the procedural guarantees afforded to individuals. However, when it comes to personal data protection, the proposal could be further improved without jeopardising the objectives that it pursues. Concerns relate to the right of information, access and rectification as well as exchanges of personal information. The EDPS also proposes measures regarding the confidentiality of whistleblowers.

15/05/2006
15
May
2006

Maintenance obligations

Opinion on the Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (COM (2005)649 final), OJ C 242, 7.10.2006, p. 20

21/04/2006
21
Apr
2006
22/10/2004
22
Oct
2004

Protection against fraud

Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament of the Council on mutual administrative assistance for the protection of the financial interests of the Community against fraud and any other illegal activities OJ C 301, 7.12.2004, p. 4

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