European Data Protection Supervisor
Since the last meeting of the network of data protection officers (DPOs) in the EU institutions and bodies (EUIs), in Florence on 7 November 2019, our lives have changed dramatically.
Our way of living and working has been disrupted as governments put in place measures to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
‘Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity’.
Robert Schuman, 9 May 1950
There are events in history that help societies and civilization to move forward, that inspire ideas that shape humankind. Today we celebrate Europe and the foundation that is the Schuman declaration. The declaration set in motion the process of European integration and inspired a whole new era of cooperation between countries, based on the preservation of peace.
The outbreak of Covid-19 is affecting our lives at an unprecedented pace. It is testing the resilience of our societies as we respond to this global crisis and try to contain its consequences, both in the short and in the long run.
When we started our work on the Strategy for the five-year mandate of the European Data Protection Supervisor, one of the first issues we discussed was whether it should be either a living document, ready to be changed or adjusted, or a robust, future-proof plan.
We know that a substantial amount of data is processed to fuel and improve the machine learning algorithms at the heart of Artificial Intelligence (AI). And we are aware of the rapidly increasing precision and capabilities of ubiquitous surveillance equipment.
If you believe everything you read in the papers or see in films, artificial intelligence (AI) is either going to be the saviour or the downfall of the world as we know it. While we’re not yet witnessing either extreme, it is not under dispute that the various applications of AI raise a number of challenges for those defending the rights and freedoms of individuals.
It’s a common myth that a trainee’s daily routine consists of making cups of coffee and photocopies. Here at the EDPS, however, that myth couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the many important tasks we entrust our trainees with is the industrious task of organising a conference on a data protection issue of their choice.