What does this cover?

The EDPS, the European data protection advisory body for EU data protection legislation, policy and proposals, recently set out its 2016 priorities. Its key action points include:

  1. Completing the new legal framework for data protection

In light of the progress made towards a finalised GDPR and the Directive for data protection in the police and justice sectors, the EDPS committed to supporting continued work towards a coherent EU-wide data protection framework. The EDPS also committed to assist in the review of the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC and the revision of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, which concerns the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.

  1. Ensuring adequate protection in international data transfers

The EDPS plans to engage fully in the debate over a replacement for the Safe Harbor regime. It also intends to closely follow the progress of the 'Umbrella agreement' – an arrangement for which negotiations were finalised between the EU and US in September 2015 and under which the criminal investigatory sharing of data between the EU and US is governed.

The EDPS intends to monitor 'closely' the negotiation process of third country Passenger Name Record schemes – a scheme which the European Parliament advise "would oblige airlines to hand EU countries their passengers' data in order to help the authorities to fight terrorism and serious crime". 

  1. Protecting EU borders and enhancing security

In consideration of the terrorist activity within the EU in 2015 (including the Paris attacks of November 2015), the EDPS intends to work on "strengthening controls of external borders" by way of measures including improving and implementing the registration processes applied to third-country nationals and enhancing the information sharing capabilities of EU members states.

  1. Initiatives listed in the Commission's Work Programme for 2016

The priorities document set out certain initiatives from the European Commission's Work Programme for 2016 which it considers warrant particular attention.  This includes the implementation of a strategy on the Digital Single Market.

The EDPS's action points signify its intention to increase the momentum in the development of a more streamlined and comprehensive data protection regime across the EU.

To view the EDPS 2016 priorities document, please click here.