An Bord Eorpach um Chosaint Sonraí

Nuacht EDPB

16 April 2021

The two EDPB opinions on the European Commission draft Implementing Decisions on the adequate protection of personal data in the United Kingdom have now been published on the EDPB website.

Opinion 14/2021 is based on the GDPR and assesses both general data protection aspects and government access to personal data transferred from the EEA for the purposes of law enforcement and national security included in the draft adequacy decision.

Opinion 15/2021 is based on the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) and analyses the draft adequacy decision in the light of Recommendations 01/2021 on the adequacy referential under the Law Enforcement Directive, as well as the relevant case law reflected in Recommendations 02/2020 on the European Essential Guarantees for surveillance measures. This is the first draft implementing decision on a third country’s adequacy under the LED ever presented by the European Commission and assessed by the EDPB.

14 April 2021

Opinions on draft UK adequacy decisions, Guidelines on the application of Article 65(1)(a) GDPR, Guidelines on the targeting of social media users and Statement on international agreements including transfers

During its plenary session, the EDPB adopted two Opinions on the draft UK adequacy decisions. Opinion 14/2021 is based on the GDPR and assesses both general data protection aspects and government access to personal data transferred from the EEA for the purposes of law enforcement and national security included in the draft adequacy decision. This assessment is based on the GDPR Adequacy Referential WP254. Opinion 15/2021 is based on the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) and analyses the draft adequacy decision in the light of Recommendations 01/2021 on the adequacy referential under the Law Enforcement Directive, as well as the relevant case law reflected in Recommendations 02/2020 on the European Essential Guarantees for surveillance measures. This is the first draft implementing decision on a third country’s adequacy under the LED ever presented by the European Commission and assessed by the EDPB. 

The EDPB notes that there are key areas of strong alignment between the EU and the UK data protection frameworks on certain core provisions such as: grounds for lawful and fair processing for legitimate purposes; purpose limitation; data quality and proportionality; data retention, security and confidentiality; transparency; special categories of data; and on automated decision making and profiling.

EDPB Chair, Andrea Jelinek said: "The UK data protection framework is largely based on the EU data protection framework. The UK Data Protection Act 2018 further specifies the application of the GDPR in UK law, in addition to transposing the LED, as well as granting powers and imposing duties on the national data protection supervisory authority, the ICO. Therefore, the EDPB recognises that the UK has mirrored, for the most part, the GDPR and LED in its data protection framework and when analysing its law and practice, the EDPB identified many aspects to be essentially equivalent. However, whilst laws can evolve, this alignment should be maintained. So we welcome the Commission's decision to limit the granted adequacy in time and the intention to closely monitor developments in the UK.”

The EDPB underlines that several items should be further assessed and/or closely monitored by the European Commission in its decision based on the GDPR, such as: 

  • Immigration Exemption and its consequences on restrictions on data subject rights;
  • The application of restrictions to onward transfers of EEA personal data transferred to the UK, on the basis of, for instance, future adequacy decisions adopted by the UK, international agreements concluded between the UK and third countries, or derogations.

Regarding access by public authorities for national security purposes to personal data transferred to the UK, the EDPB welcomes the establishment of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to address the challenges of redress in the area of national security, and the introduction of Judicial Commissioners in the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016 to ensure better oversight in that same field. The EDPB still identifies a number of points requiring further clarifications and/or monitoring: 

  • Bulk interceptions;
  • Independent assessment and oversight of the use of automated processing tools;
  • Safeguards provided under UK law when it comes to overseas disclosure, in particular in light of the application of national security exemptions.

The Board adopted Guidelines on the application of Article 65(1)(a) GDPR to delineate the main stages of the procedure and clarify the competence of the EDPB when adopting a legally binding decision on the basis of Article 65(1)(a) GDPR. The Guidelines also include a description of the applicable procedural safeguards and remedies. The guidelines will be subject to public consultation for a period of six weeks.

The EDPB adopted a final version of the Guidelines on the targeting of social media users following public consultation. The aim of the Guidelines is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of social media providers and targeted individuals. The final version integrates updated wording in order to address comments and feedback received during the public consultation.

The EDPB adopted a Statement on international agreements including transfers. The EDPB invites EU Member States to assess and, where necessary, review their international agreements that involve international transfers of personal data and which were concluded before 24 May 2016 (for those relevant to the GDPR) and 6 May 2016 (for those relevant to the LED) to align them, where necessary, with EU data protection law. 

The agenda of the forty-eighth plenary is available here.

Note to editors:
Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

EDPB_Press Release_2021_03

12 April 2021

On April 13th, the EDPB will hold its 48th plenary session. The agenda for the 48th plenary is available here

 

 

06 April 2021

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted a joint opinion on the Proposals for a Digital Green Certificate. The Digital Green Certificate aims to facilitate the exercise of the right to free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a common framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, testing and recovery certificates. 

With this Joint Opinion, the EDPB and the EDPS invite the co-legislators to ensure that the Digital Green Certificate is fully in line with EU personal data protection legislation. The data protection commissioners from all EU and European Economic Area countries highlight the need to mitigate the risks to fundamental rights of EU citizens and residents that may result from issuing the Digital Green Certificate, including its possible unintended secondary uses. The EDPB and the EDPS underline that the use of the Digital Green Certificate may not, in any way, result in direct or indirect discrimination of individuals, and must be fully in line with the fundamental principles of necessity, proportionality and effectiveness. Given the nature of the measures put forward by the Proposal, the EDPB and the EDPS consider that the introduction of the Digital Green Certificate should be accompanied by a comprehensive legal framework.

Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the EDPB, said: "A Digital Green Certificate that is accepted in all Member States can be a major step forward in re-starting travel across the EU. Any measure adopted at national or EU level that involves processing of personal data must respect the general principles of effectiveness, necessity and proportionality. Therefore, the EDPB and the EDPS recommend that any further use of the Digital Green Certificate by the Member States must have an appropriate legal basis in the Member States and all the necessary safeguards must be in place."

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: It must be made clear that the Proposal does not allow for - and must not lead to - the creation of any sort of central database of personal data at EU level. In addition, it must be ensured that personal data is not processed any longer than what is strictly necessary and that access to and use of this data is not permitted once the pandemic has ended. I have always stressed that measures taken in the fight against COVID-19 are temporary and it is our duty to ensure that they are not here to stay after the crisis.”

In the current emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDPB and the EDPS insist that the principles of effectiveness, necessity, proportionality and non-discrimination are upheld. The EDPB and the EDPS reiterate that, at the moment of writing, there seems to be little scientific evidence as to whether having received the COVID-19 vaccine (or having recovered from COVID-19) grants immunity, and, by extension, how long such immunity may last. But scientific evidence is growing daily.

Moreover, a number of factors are still unknown regarding the efficacy of the vaccination in reducing transmission. The Proposal should lay down clear and precise rules governing the scope and application of the Digital Green Certificate and impose appropriate safeguards. This will allow individuals, whose personal data is affected, to have sufficient guarantees that they will be protected, in an effective way, against the risk of potential discrimination.

The Proposal must expressly include that access to and subsequent use of individuals’ data by EU Member States once the pandemic has ended is not permitted. At the same time, the EDPB and the EDPS highlight that the application of the proposed Regulation must be strictly limited to the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Joint Opinion includes specific recommendations for further clarifications on the categories of data concerned by the Proposal, data storage, transparency obligations and identification of controllers and processors for the processing of personal data. 

Note to editors: Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

EDPB_Press Release_statement_2021_03

26 March 2021

On March 30th, the EDPB will hold its 47th plenary session. During the plenary, the EDPB will dicsuss the European Commission's proposal for Regulations on a Digital Green Certificate.

The agenda for the 47th plenary is available here

16 March 2021

Due to the high number of responses, the call for expression of interest is already closed.

On April 30, the EDPB is organising a remote stakeholder event on the topic "application of the GDPR to the processing of personal data for scientific research purposes”. Representatives from, among others, individual companies, sector organisations, NGOs, law firms and academia with an expertise on the field are welcome to express interest in attending.

In order to express your interest to participate in the event, please fill in this form.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, depending on availability. Nonetheless, the EDPB reserves the right to give precedence to specific stakeholders, in light of their relevance in the field. Selected participants will receive the confirmation of their registration in the event via e-mail.

Detailed information and the programme of the event will be available shortly.

As we would like to have a balanced and representative audience, participation will be limited to one participant per organisation.

When? 30 April 2021, from 10:00 - 16:00h CET

10 March 2021

EDPB adopts 2021-2022 Work Programme, Statement on ePrivacy Regulation, Guidelines on Virtual Voice Assistants & Guidelines on Connected Vehicles, and discusses UK Adequacy

During its 46th plenary session, the EDPB adopted a wide range of documents and discussed the draft UK adequacy decisions presented by the European Commission. 

The Board adopted its two-year work programme for 2021-2022, according to Article 29 of the EDPB Rules of Procedure. The work programme follows the priorities set out in the EDPB 2021-2023 Strategy and will put the Board’s strategic objectives into practice. 

The EDPB adopted a statement on the draft ePrivacy Regulation. In its statement, the EDPB welcomes the agreement on the negotiation mandate by the Council as a positive step in the finalisation of the ePrivacy Regulation. The EDPB recalls that national authorities responsible for enforcement of the GDPR should be entrusted with the oversight of the privacy provisions of the future ePrivacy Regulation to ensure a harmonised interpretation and enforcement of the ePrivacy Regulation across the EU and to guarantee a level playing field in the Digital Single Market.

EDPB Chair, Andrea Jelinek said: “The ePrivacy Regulation must not - under no circumstances - lower the level of protection offered by the current ePrivacy Directive, and should complement the GDPR by providing additional strong guarantees for confidentiality and protection of all types of electronic communication.

The EDPB adopted Guidelines on Virtual Voice Assistants (VVAs). These Guidelines aim to identify some of the most relevant compliance challenges for VVAs and to provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders on how to address them. The Guidelines will be submitted for public consultation for a period of six weeks.

The EDPB adopted a final version of the Guidelines on Connected Vehicles following public consultation. The Guidelines focus on the processing of personal data in relation to the non-professional use of connected vehicles by data subjects. The final version integrates updated wording, and further clarifications in order to address comments and feedback received during the public consultation.

The Board discussed the draft UK adequacy decisions, which were received from the European Commission. The EDPB will thoroughly review the draft decisions, taking into account the importance of guaranteeing the continuity and high level of protection for data transfers from the EU. 

Finally, the EDPB adopted a joint EDPB-EDPS opinion on the Data Governance Act. A separate press release will be published on this topic later today. 

The agenda of the forty-sixth plenary is available here.

Note to editors:
Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

EDPB_Press Release_2021_02

10 March 2021

The EDPB and EDPS adopted a joint opinion on the proposal for a Data Governance Act (DGA). The DGA aims to foster the availability of data by increasing trust in data intermediaries [1] and by strengthening data-sharing mechanisms across the EU. In particular, the DGA intends to promote the availability of public sector data for reuse, sharing of data among businesses and allowing personal data to be used with the help of a ‘personal data-sharing intermediary’. The DGA also seeks to enable the use of data for altruistic purposes.

The EDPB and the EDPS acknowledge the legitimate objective of the DGA to improve the conditions for data sharing in the internal market. At the same time, the protection of personal data is an essential and integral element for trust in the digital economy. With this joint opinion, the EDPB and the EDPS invite the co-legislators to ensure that the future DGA is fully in line with the EU personal data protection legislation, thus fostering trust in the digital economy and upholding the level of protection provided by EU law under the supervision of the EU Member States’ supervisory authorities.  

Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the EDPB, said:The EU's data protection legal framework does not stand in the way of developing the data economy. Quite the contrary, it enables it: trust in any kind of data sharing can only be achieved by respecting existing data protection legislation. The GDPR is the foundation on which the European data governance model must be built. That is why we underline the need to ensure consistency with the GDPR with regard to the competence of the supervisory authorities, the roles of the different actors involved, the legal basis for the processing of personal data, the necessary safeguards and the exercise of the rights of the data subjects.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said:We understand the growing importance of data for the economy and society as outlined in the European Data Strategy. However, with “big data comes big responsibility”, therefore appropriate data protection safeguards must be put in place. The overarching framework for European data spaces should ensure that the data protection acquis is not affected.

The EDPB and EDPS consider that the EU legislator should ensure that the wording of the DGA clearly and unambiguously state that this act will not affect the level of protection of individuals’ personal data, nor will any rights and obligations set out in the data protection legislation be altered.  

Concerning the reuse of personal data held by public sector bodies, the EDPB and EDPS recommend aligning the DGA with the existing rules on the protection of personal data laid down in the GDPR and with the Open Data Directive. Furthermore, it should be clarified that the reuse of personal data held by public sector bodies may only be allowed if it is grounded in EU or Member State law. Such laws should include a list of clear compatible purposes for which further processing may be lawfully authorised or constitutes a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard the objectives referred to in Article 23 of the GDPR. 

On data sharing service providers, the joint opinion highlights the need to ensure prior information and controls for individuals, taking into account the principles of data protection by design and by default, transparency and purpose limitation.  Furthermore, the modalities upon which such service providers would effectively assist individuals in exercising their rights as data subjects should be clarified. 

As for data altruism, the EDPB and the EDPS recommend that the DGA should better define the purposes of general interest of such “data altruism”. Data altruism should be organised in such a way that it allows individuals to easily give, but also, withdraw their consent. 

In light of the possible risks for data subjects when their personal data might be processed by data sharing service providers or data altruism organisations, the EDPB and EDPS consider that the declaratory registration regimes for these entities, as laid down in the DGA, do not provide for a sufficiently stringent vetting procedure applicable to such services. Therefore, the EDPB and EDPS recommend exploring alternative procedures that foresee a more systematic inclusion of accountability tools, in particular the adherence to a code of conduct or certification mechanism.

The joint opinion also includes recommendations on the designation of the supervisory authorities as main competent authorities for the control of the compliance with the DGA provisions, in consultation with other relevant sectorial authorities.

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[1] See Explanatory Memorandum of the Proposal, page 1

Note to editors:  Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

EDPB_Press Release_statement_2021_02

03 February 2021

EDPB adopts Recommendations on Art. 36 LED – Adequacy referential, Opinion on the H3C/PCAOB Administrative Arrangement, Statement on new draft provisions on a protocol to Cybercrime Convention, Response to EC questionnaire on processing personal data for scientific research & discussion on Whatsapp privacy polic.

During its 45th plenary session, the EDPB adopted a wide range of documents. In addition, the Board discussed Whatsapp’s updated privacy policy. 

The EDPB adopted Recommendations on the adequacy referential under the Law Enforcement Directive (LED). The EDPB ensures the consistent application of EU data protection law in the EU, including of the Law Enforcement Directive (LED), which deals with the processing of personal data for law enforcement purposes. The aim of the Recommendations is to provide a list of elements to be examined when assessing the adequacy of a third country under the LED. The document recalls the concept and procedural aspects of adequacy according to the LED and the case law of the CJEU, and lays down the EU standards for data protection for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

The EDPB adopted an opinion on the draft Administrative Arrangement (AA) for transfers of personal data between the Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes (H3C) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). This AA will be submitted to the French SA for authorisation at national level. The French SA will monitor the application of the AA in practice and, if necessary, suspend any transfer performed by the H3C, if the AA ceases to provide data subjects with an essentially equivalent level of protection.

The EDPB adopted a Statement on the draft provisions on a protocol to the Cybercrime Convention. This statement complements the EDPB contribution to the draft second additional protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) and follows the publication of the new draft provisions. 
In this statement, the EDPB recalls that the provisions currently being discussed are likely to affect the conditions for access to personal data in the EU for law enforcement purposes and calls for a careful scrutiny of the ongoing negotiation by the relevant EU and national institutions. In addition, the EDPB stresses the need to guarantee full consistency with the EU acquis in the field of personal data protection. 

The EDPB adopted its response to the European Commission questionnaire on processing personal data for scientific research, focusing on health related research. The answers provided by the EDPB form a preliminary position on this topic and aim to provide clarity as to the application of the GDPR in the domain of scientific health research. The EDPB is currently developing guidelines on processing personal data for scientific research purposes that will elaborate on these issues. 

Finally, the Members of the Board had an exchange of views on WhatsApp's recent Privacy Policy update. The EDPB will continue to facilitate this exchange of information between authorities, in order to ensure a consistent application of data protection law across the EU in accordance with its mandate.

The agenda of the forty-fifth plenary is available here.

Note to editors:
Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

EDPB_Press Release_2021_1

28 January 2021

 

On the occasion of the 15th annual Data Protection Day, the Members of the EDPB bring you a joint message. Today is an opportunity to reflect on the efforts we make day after day to empower individuals, encourage business to be compliant and to enable trust.  From all of us at the EDPB, we wish you a very happy Data Protection Day.

18 January 2021

The EDPB adopted guidelines on examples regarding data breach notification. These guidelines complement the WP 29 guidance on data breach notification by introducing more practice orientated guidance and recommendations. They aim to help data controllers in deciding how to handle data breaches and what factors to consider during risk assessment. The guidelines contain an inventory of data breach notification cases deemed most common by the national supervisory authorities (SAs), such as ransomware attacks; data exfiltration attacks; and lost or stolen devices and paper documents. Per case category, the guidelines present the most typical good or bad practices, advice on how risks should be identified and assessed, highlight the factors that should be given particular consideration, as well as inform in which cases the controller should notify the SA and/or notify the data subjects. The guidelines will be submitted for public consultation for a period of six weeks.

 

The guidelines and more information about the public consultation are available here

EDPB_Press Release_statement_2021_02

 

15 January 2021

The EDPB and EDPS have adopted joint opinions on two sets of contractual clauses (SCCs). One opinion on the SCCs for contracts between controllers and processors and one on the SCCs for the transfer of personal data to third countries.

The Controller-Processor SCCs will have an EU-wide effect and aim to ensure full harmonisation and legal certainty across the EU when it comes to contracts between controllers and their processors.

Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the EDPB, said: “The EDPB and EDPS welcome the controller-processor SCCs as a single, strong and EU-wide accountability tool that will facilitate compliance with the provisions under both the GDPR and the EUDPR. Among others, the EDPB and the EDPS request that sufficient clarity has to be provided to the parties as to the situations where they can rely on these SCCs, and emphasise that situations involving transfers outside the EU should not be excluded.”

Several amendments were requested in order to bring more clarity to the text and to ensure its practical usefulness in day-to-day operations of the controllers and processors. These include the interplay between the two documents, the so-called "docking clause" which allows additional entities to accede to the SCCs, and other aspects relating to obligations for processors. Additionally, the EDPB and EDPS suggest that the Annexes to the SCCs clarify as much as possible the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties with regard to each processing activity - any ambiguity would make it more difficult for controllers or processors to fulfil their obligations under the accountability principle.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: “We are convinced these SCCs can facilitate the compliance of controllers and processors with their obligations, both under the GDPR and under the legal framework of EU institutions and bodies (EUIs). Moreover, we hope these SCCs will ensure further harmonisation and legal certainty for individuals and their personal data. It is in this context that we aim to make these documents as future-proof as possible.”

The draft SCCs for the transfer of personal data to third countries pursuant to Art. 46 (2) (c) GDPR will replace the existing SCCs for international transfers that were adopted on the basis of Directive 95/46 and needed to be updated to bring them in line with GDPR requirements, as well as taking into account the CJEU ‘Schrems II’ Judgment, and to better reflect the widespread use of new and more complex processing operations often involving multiple data importers and exporters. In particular, the new SCCs include more specific safeguards in case the laws of the country of destination impact compliance with the clauses, in particular in case of binding requests from public authorities for disclosure of personal data.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: “Given our practical experience, we have made these comments to improve these SCCs with a view to fully ensure that personal data of EU citizens is afforded an essentially equivalent level of protection when transfers to third countries take place. We believe these suggestions and amendments are crucial in order to achieve these aims in practice.”


In general, the EDPB and the EDPS are of the opinion that the draft SCCs present a reinforced level of protection for data subjects. In particular, the EDPB and the EDPS welcome the specific provisions intended to address some of the main issues identified in the Schrems II judgment. Nevertheless, the EDPB and EDPS are of the view that several provisions could be improved or clarified, such as the scope of the SCCs; certain third party beneficiary rights; certain obligations regarding onward transfers; aspects of the assessment of third country laws regarding access to public data by public authorities; and the notification to the SA.


EDPB Chair Andrea Jelinek added: "The conditions under which SCCs can be used must be clear for organisations and data subjects should be provided with effective rights and remedies. In addition, the SCCs should include a clear distribution of roles and of the liability regime between the parties. As regards the need, in certain cases, for ad-hoc supplementary measures in order to ensure that data subjects are afforded a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EU, the new SCCs will have to be used along with the EDPB Recommendations on supplementary measures.”


The EDPB and the EDPS invite the Commission to refer to the final version of the EDPB Recommendations on supplementary measures, should the final version of the recommendations be adopted before the Commission’s SCC decision. This document was submitted for public consultation until 21 December 2020 and is still subject to possible further modifications on the basis of the results of the public consultation.

The agenda of the EDPB's 44th plenary session is available here

Note to editors:
Please note that all documents adopted during the EDPB Plenary are subject to the necessary legal, linguistic and formatting checks and will be made available on the EDPB website once these have been completed.

 

EDPB_Press Release_statement_2021_01