Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued an opinion on the Commission's communication of 20 July 2010 (*) providing a comprehensive overview of EU instruments that regulate the collection, storage or cross-border exchange of personal data for law enforcement or migration management purposes (Schengen Information System, EURODAC and Prüm Decision on DNA data exchange are examples of those instruments). The Communication also sets out the core principles that the Commission intends to use in the future as a benchmark for the initiation and evaluation of policy proposals.
The EDPS welcomes and fully supports the objectives and the main content of the Communication. In many of his opinions and comments, the EDPS has indeed repeatedly advocated the need for an assessment of all existing instruments on information exchange before proposing new ones. He also welcomes that the Communication makes a clear link with other exercises launched by the Commission to take stock and evaluate the exchange of information in the area of freedom, security and justice.
The EDPS however draws attention to the fact that this initiative should only be considered as a first step in the evaluation process. Such an exercise should be followed by further concrete measures, the outcome of which should be a well-structured, integrated and comprehensive EU policy on information exchange and management.
Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "I fully support the ongoing work on the evaluation of all instruments dealing with information exchange in the area of freedom, security and justice. There is a need for a comprehensive policy based on a real and in-depth assessment of this area. I consider this Communication as an important first step in that direction and will follow closely further developments in this field.”
The opinion also includes, amongst others, the following main recommendations:
(*) Communication of 20 July 2010 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council "Overview of information management in the area of freedom, security and justice" (COM(2010) 385 final)