A European effort on data protection and privacy

Image  Date:08/12/2015  In the picture: RÜBIG, Paul (EPP, AT); MORAES, Claude (S&D, UK); ANSIP, Andrus, VP Digital Single Market; BETTEL, Xavier – Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

The LIBE-STOA – Conference ‘ Protecting online privacy by enhancing IT security and strengthening EU IT capabilities ‘ Copyright: © European Union 2015 – Source : EP. /Alexis Haulot

Following the many online activities on the #DataProtectionDay – we kind of missed an overview of the EU Institutions involved  – here is what we found.

About the European data protection reform

The European contries has agreed on a data protection reform to make Europe fit for the digital age. It has many aspects, and will have an impact on the existing way of handling personal data and dealing with online privacy.

The new data protection rules address these concerns:

  • A “right to be forgotten”
  • Easier access to one’s data and a right to data portability
  • The right to know when one’s data has been hacked
  • Data protection by design and by default
  • Stronger enforcement of the rules

You can get an overview by reading the press release from December 15. 2015 – “Agreement on Commission’s EU data protection reform will boost Digital Single Market” . The data protection initiative also has a website and you can find out more about the EU data protection reform  there.

Do we need Data protection in EU?

One of the top 10 priorities of the Europe 2020 Initiative is  the “Digital Agenda for Europe“. In the portfolio of Digital Europe we find a project called the Digital Single Market  with a strategy that aims to open up digital opportunities for people and business and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy. It is in many ways related to the discussion about data protection, because it tries so standardise the way data is collected across Europe and brake down existing barriers online which mean citizens miss out on goods and services, internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools.

Data collection calls for legal awareness

The more data collected the more clear do we need to be on Data Protection and how Governments and businesses handle our personal data. Opening more opportunities also requires a legal assessment of how to handle the security – this is why Data Protection also is related to The European Agenda on Security

Legally your personal data is protected from misuse and from falling into unauthorised hands. The Directive protects the rights of everyone, irrespective of nationality or place of residence. The Justice department has collected an informative page on the legal aspects and what falls under the E Data Protection Directive – “Protecting your data: your rights”


Who is the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)? – and what the EDPS does

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is an independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy and promoting good practice in the EU institutions and bodies. EDPS plays a significant role when it comes to  data protection and is an intellectual powerhouse led by Giovanni Buttarelli 

  • Supervises the EU administration’s processing of personal data to ensure compliance with privacy rules
  • Advises EU institutions and bodies on all aspects of personal data processing and related policies and legislation
  • Handles complaints and conducts inquiries
  • Works with the national authorities of EU countries to ensure consistency in data protection
  • Monitors new technologies that might have an impact on data protection

> Official EDPS website

> About the role and responsibilities of the EDPS

EDPS made a video about the Data Protection Day (we didn’t embed it, then someone would have know you where visiting us) and on Twitter you can follow @EU_EDPS


Who is who? – Contacts in EU regarding Data protection

To get a little practical we collected a list of some of the offices in EU that handels or is related to data protection. If you you looking for someone  in EU that is not on our list a good place to find concrete contact information is the Who is Who database – europa.eu/Whoiswho

Here is a short list of interesting institutes and offices in relation to data protection:

European Institutions:

The European Parliament:

The European Commission


What twitter accounts can I follow related to EU data protection ?

Both individuals working in EU, the institutions and offices in EU related to data protection and the digital single market has twitter, and both the individual persons and the different offices have accounts, find them here:

List of twitter accounts related to EU Data protection 

 Press material and debates on data protection

The press material including video from the public debates in the parliament is available from the EU Commissions presscenter,


Missing someone?

We did probably not collect all of the parties, but fell free to write us if we need to improve the article. In addition you can meet us at the DataEthics event 10. March in Copenhagen – where we will speaking about PrivacyByDesign