Data protection has always been about technology. It was the arrival of computers in the business and public administration domains that triggered the development of data protection laws and principles which in turn led to the creation of data protection authorities.
Technical development allows for more sophisticated and increasing amounts of personal data collection and processing. Though advanced technologies increase the risk to privacy and data protection, they may also integrate technological solutions for better transparency and control for the persons whose data is processed.
Data protection authorities must keep abreast of both the potential risks and opportunities offered by these advances: they invest to understand the possibilities of new technology and at the same time encourage the integration of data protection by design and data protection by default into the innovation process.
The EDPS places strategic importance on integrating the technological dimension of data protection into our work.
The main objective is to ensure that our work properly assesses technological implications and demonstrates that the EDPS:
- Monitors technological developments which may have an impact on privacy and data protection such as cloud computing, PIMS, Big Data, malicious software;
- analyses and understands the potential impact of technology driven policy and proposed legislative measures as demonstrated in our opinions and comments;
- advances the public debate by reporting on new technology related to privacy and data protection for instance, in the TechDispatch, EDPS newsletter, papers and other publications and events such as IPEN Workshops and CPDP;
- Offers support to the EU institutions, National Data Protection Authorities and the public at large by being a reference point for clarifying technological issues related to privacy and data protection;
- has the technological knowledge and tools to perform effective inspections of IT systems, and other technical solutions used as means to process personal data; and
- Guides, influences, raises awareness and provides advice on technology developments relevant to privacy, data protection and the proper implementation of the privacy by design and privacy by default principles.