Answer: The Article 29 Working Party is the name of an advisory body established in 1996 by Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC.

The role of the Working Party is to provide independent counsel to the European Commission on data protection matters with a view to facilitating harmonised practice across European Union member states. The Working Party has developed its own rules of procedure and advises the European Commission on the adequacy of both European Union and non-European Union data protection standards.

In readiness for the GDPR, the Working Party has been preparing and publishing a range of opinions, recommendations and guidance to equip organisations with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve compliance. Although the guidance is not legally binding, it carries great weight since it is drafted by key European Union regulators (the Working Party is composed of a representative of the European Commission, a representative of the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) and a representative of the national supervisory authorities in each of the European Union members states). Therefore, all Working Party guidance should be carefully considered.