Data Protection in Practice

Giovanni Buttarelli

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation that was adopted earlier this year is a landmark in human rights law. Designed to grapple with the realities of global, ubiquitous data in the internet era, it should provide increased legal certainty for both individuals and organisations processing data and greater protection for the individual in general.

Like our sister Data Protection Authorities throughout the EU, the EDPS has been bombarded with requests from industry groups, NGOs and think tanks for insights into what will happen next. How will the regulatory reforms be implemented in practice? Will we all be able to provide timely and relevant guidance?

At the time of publishing this blogpost, our second meeting with civil society organisations is taking place to discuss these questions and other hot topics in data protection and privacy in the EU. On the agenda are the implementation of the GDPR, the review of the ePrivacy Directive, and the issues of necessity and proportionality in data protection.

Among the respected representatives from civil society, academia and public bodies are Mr Joe McNamee of European Digital Rights (EDRi) who will set the scene by outlining the big issues surrounding privacy and data protection in 2016; his intervention will flow nicely into the discussions that will be led by Ms Anna Fielder from Privacy International on the implementation of the GDPR, focussing in particular on consistency, flexibility and guidelines. On the notion of consistency, Professor Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute will initiate the debate on the ongoing reform of the ePrivacy Directive, followed by a closing session on necessity, proportionality and data protection by Mr Ralf Bendrath of the German Working Group on Data Retention and Digitale Gesellschaft. 

As an advisor to the European institutions, today's meeting is a valuable occasion for my organisation to better understand the concerns of European citizens and to anticipate the issues which might arise in the future application of the new data protection legislation. The insights and views shared today will help us identify workable solutions for data protection related problems while promoting an informed discussion on privacy.

A video recording of today's discussions will be made available after the Summit. Watch the video recording of our first Civil Society Summit which took place on 27 May last year.

Stay tuned for more, follow #EDPSCivSoc2016