Today we publish the priorities for our policy and consultation role in 2017.
The highlight of last year was the adoption of the new European data protection framework: the GDPR and the directive on data protection in law enforcement and criminal justice. Our work, however, does not end here. It is now time to make sure that the same robust rules apply to EU institutions and bodies, so they can lead by example in compliance and accountability. We will also continue to work closely with the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament in order to ensure that future-proof data protection rules protect the confidentiality of next generation electronic communications tools.
We aim to be accountable for our work across the range of our responsibilities, and in our priorities for advice you will find those European Commission proposals that, in our assessment, seem most likely to have implications for the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data. We may respond to these proposals by means of a formal Opinion or in comments on a few specific aspects of the proposal. In all cases, we work with our fellow data protection authorities (DPAs) in the Article 29 Working Party to ensure a consistent and strong EU voice on data protection matters.
We have identified three areas of strategic importance for this year:
• Ensuring the protection of confidentiality and privacy in electronic communications, in particular in the context of the ongoing review of the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC.
• Contributing to a Security Union and stronger borders based on respect for fundamental rights, including the proposals on ETIAS, the revision of SISII and ECRIS, as well as the issue of interoperability between these systems.
• Towards a new legal framework for the EDPS: the proposal for a new Regulation on data protection EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.
In addition, building on the preparatory work performed since 2015, we will publish a "toolkit" to assist policy makers and the co-legislator in assessing the necessity of interference with the fundamental right to data protection. We will follow up with a background document on the principle of proportionality in EU data protection law. Moreover, following a request from the Council, we will soon issue an opinion on the Commission proposal for a directive on digital content.
Privacy and data protection are significant issues across the spectrum of EU policies. There is a need for early assessment and independent advice on how to include them in these policies.
It is an integral part of our role and of all independent DPAs.