Data

Data protection, privacy and new technologies

More of our everyday lives are online — both at work and home. Meanwhile, terror attacks intensify calls for more surveillance. Concerns grow over the safety of our privacy and personal data.

FRA helps lawmakers and practitioners protect your rights in a connected world.

Highlights

Products
29
November
2023
Online hate speech is a growing problem in today’s digitalised societies. Women, Black people, Jews and Roma are often targets of online hate speech. Online hate proliferates where human content moderators miss offensive content. Also, algorithms are prone to errors. They may multiply errors over time and may even end up promoting online hate. This report presents the challenges in identifying and detecting online hate. Hate of any kind should not be tolerated, regardless of whether it is online or offline. The report discusses the implications for fundamental rights to support creating a rights-compliant digital environment.
20
October
2023
FRA’s strategic priorities and objectives are based on the agency’s role and mission as defined in its amended founding regulation. They build on FRA’s 2018–2022 strategy as well as how it performed, its experience and its vision. Their design takes into account future fundamental rights challenges facing Europe, the agency’s mandate, the broader operational context and the resources available.
8
June
2023
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2023 reviews major developments in the field in 2022, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
8
June
2023
The year 2022 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2023 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
24
May
2023
This report provides a partial update on the findings of the 2017 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) report Surveillance by intelligence services: Fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU. It was prepared at the request of the European Parliament, which asked FRA to update its 2017 findings to support the work of its committee of inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA).
8
December
2022
Artificial intelligence is everywhere and affects everyone – from deciding what content people see on their social media feeds to determining who will receive state benefits. AI technologies are typically based on algorithms that make predictions to support or even fully automate decision-making.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about artificial intelligence and algorithms. While AI can be a powerful force for good, he points out that humans must supervise very closely the application of AI and a permanent testing of every possible application is needed. On 8 December, FRA is publishing a new report on bias in algorithms.
11
November
2022
Europe stands at a delicate moment in its history. It is a moment of existential significance for the wellbeing and sustainability of our societies. It is emerging from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease, only to face a set of major overlapping challenges. These pose profound questions about the political, economic and societal future of the continent. To discuss elements of a human rights vision for the future and to identify opportunities for action, FRA brought together a group of sixty human rights leaders and experts with diverse backgrounds
from across the continent. This report distils the meeting discussions, including analysis and ideas, and concludes with proposals for action. It does not represent the views either of individual participants or of FRA.
Automation and AI have radically transformed how we work, live and play. In this video, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O'Flaherty, discusses the implications of AI for our most basic of human rights.
16
September
2022
Europe stands at a delicate moment in its history, facing a convergence of major tests. Each of them taken on their own is significant. Together, they pose profound questions about the political, economic, and societal future of the continent. This is a moment for strong commitment to put human rights at the heart of our vision for Europe’s future. It is also time to demonstrate our determination to work together to this end. Against this backdrop, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) brought together around sixty human rights leaders and experts from across the continent to discuss elements of a human rights vision for the future and to identify opportunities for action. A full conference report will be available soon, including the specific ideas and proposals which arose from the meeting. Meanwhile, this is a summary of the conclusions.
8
June
2022
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field in 2021, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
8
June
2022
This focus looks at the impact of the pandemic on social rights. It examines the measures in national recovery and resilience plans that address the social vulnerabilities among a variety of population groups in the EU, including women, children and young people in situations of vulnerability, people with disabilities, older people, Roma and people in precarious working conditions.
8
June
2022
All language versions now available
14 September 2022
The year 2021 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
7
April
2022
German version now available
19 January 2024
Children are full-fledged holders of rights. They are beneficiaries of all human and fundamental rights and subjects of special regulations, given their specific characteristics. This handbook aims to illustrate how European law and case law accommodate the specific interests and needs of children. It also considers the importance of parents and guardians or other legal representatives and makes reference, where appropriate, to situations in which rights and responsibilities are most prominently vested in children’s carers. It is a point of reference on both European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE) law related to these subjects, explaining how each issue is regulated under EU law, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as under the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter and other CoE instruments.
The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 was the space for dialogue on the human rights challenges facing the EU today. In this video, participants talk about the challenges of fundamental rights in the digital age.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty points to the urgent need to tackle disinformation. He provides examples of what can be done to combat disinformation, including what the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights could contribute to this challenge.
10
June
2021
The year 2020 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
10
June
2021
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 reviews major developments in the field in 2020, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions. This year’s focus chapter explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fundamental rights. The remaining chapters cover: the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma equality and inclusion; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; access to justice; and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
10
June
2021
This focus looks at COVID-19’s impact on fundamental rights. It underscores that a human rights-based approach to tackling the pandemic requires balanced measures that are based on law, necessary, temporary and proportional. It also requires addressing the pandemic’s socio-economic impact, protecting the vulnerable and fighting racism.
The COVID-19 pandemic has an impact on everyone. Governments take urgent measures to curb its spread to safeguard public health and provide medical care to those who need it. They are acting to defend the human rights of health and of life itself. Inevitably, these measures limit our human and fundamental rights to an extent rarely experienced in peacetime. It is important to ensure that such limitations are consistent with our legal safeguards and that their impact on particular groups is adequately taken account of.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about artificial intelligence and algorithms. While AI can be a powerful force for good, he points out that humans must supervise very closely the application of AI and a permanent testing of every possible application is needed. On 8 December, FRA is publishing a new report on bias in algorithms.
Automation and AI have radically transformed how we work, live and play. In this video, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O'Flaherty, discusses the implications of AI for our most basic of human rights.
The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 was the space for dialogue on the human rights challenges facing the EU today. In this video, participants talk about the challenges of fundamental rights in the digital age.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty points to the urgent need to tackle disinformation. He provides examples of what can be done to combat disinformation, including what the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights could contribute to this challenge.
Artificial intelligence (AI) already plays a role in many decisions that affect our daily lives. From deciding what unemployment benefits someone gets to where a burglary is likely to take place. But we need to make sure to fully uphold fundamental rights standards when using AI. Drawing on the ‘Getting the future right – Artificial intelligence and fundamental rights’ report, FRA explores the potential benefits and possible errors that can occur focusing on four core areas – social benefits, predictive policing, health services and targeted advertising.
Artificial intelligence (AI) already plays a role in many decisions that affect our daily lives. From deciding what unemployment benefits someone gets to where a burglary is likely to take place. But we need to make sure to fully uphold fundamental rights standards when using AI. Drawing on the ‘Getting the future right – Artificial intelligence and fundamental rights’ report, FRA presents a number of key considerations to help businesses and administrations respect fundamental rights when using AI.
This is a recording from the morning session of the high-level virtual event "Doing Artificial Intelligence the European way" which took place on 14 December 2020.
This is a recording from the afternoon session of the high-level virtual event "Doing Artificial Intelligence the European way" which took place on 14 December 2020.
Artificial intelligence is here. It’s not going away. It can be a force for good, but it needs to be watched so carefully in terms of respect for our human fundamental rights. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency is deeply committed to this work.Our ambition is not just to ensure that AI respects our rights, but also that it protects and promotes them.
Will AI revolutionise the delivery of our public services? And what's the right balance? How is the private sector using AI to automate decisions — and what implications
might that have? Are some form of binding rules necessary to monitor and regulate the use of AI technology - and what should these rules look like?
How do we embrace progress while protecting our fundamental rights? As data-driven decision making increasingly touches our daily lives, what does this mean
for our fundamental rights? A step into the dark? Or the next giant leap? The time to answer these questions is here and now. Let’s seize the opportunities, but understand the challenges. Let’s make AI work for everyone in Europe…And get the future right.
What are the next steps in the digitalisation of justice and of access to justice? This impulse video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded for the online conference “Access to Justice in the Digital Age”. The conference takes place on 16 July and is organised by the German Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection during the German Council Presidency.
In this vlog Michael O'Flaherty outlines fundamental rights considerations when developing technological responses to public health, as he introduces the focus of FRA's next COVID-19 bulletin.
Michael O'Flaherty talks in his vlog about the human rights aspects in the context of the Coronavirus epidemic and introduces FRA's new report.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty speaks about the importance and power of hope accompanying the work of FRA in 2020. Particularly after a troubled start of the year.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty speaks about the human rights challenges, but also the opportunities, that come along with the development of artificial intelligence technology.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: 2018 was a landmark year for data protection. New EU rules took effect and complaints of breaches increased significantly.
This video blog by FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty is released periodically and will address burning fundamental rights themes.
Mario Oetheimer presented FRA’s second surveillance report to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee on 21 November in Brussels.
This is the recording of the online press briefing about mass surveillance as presented by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on 16 October 2017.
On 15 May, FRA presented its research on the challenges faced by Data Protection Authorities in implementing the EU General Data Protection Regulation, six years after its entry into force, at the Spring conference of European Data Protection Authorities in Riga.
FRA delivered a lecture on 23 April in The Hague on AI and fundamental rights as part of the 2024 Spring Academy on AI and International Law, convened by the TMC Asser Institute.
FRA took part at the fifth edition of Civil Society Roundtable series on ‘Establishing a Multi-stakeholder Approach to Effective Implementation & Enforcement: The EU Digital Services Act (DSA)’.
FRA joined an AI workshop of the EU’s Innovation Hub for Internal Security. The meeting allowed participants to exchange information on the use of AI among participating agencies.
On 20 March, FRA presented its report on online content moderation to the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. It was part of a debate on progress in implementing the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
FRA joined the plenary meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee on artificial intelligence (CAI). FRA was part of the EU Delegation.
Abusive comments, harassment and incitement to violence easily slip through online platforms’ content moderation tools, finds a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It shows that most online hate targets women, but people of African descent, Roma and Jews are also affected. A lack of access to platforms’ data and understanding of what constitutes hate speech hampers efforts to tackle online hate. FRA calls for more transparency and guidance to ensure a safer online space for all.
On 30-31 October, FRA’s Director travelled to the UK to deliver a speech at the University of Nottingham on racism. The Director used key findings from ‘Being Black in the EU’ to illustrate the pervasive and persistent scourge of racism in society.
FRA joined a roundtable discussion on will the AI Act work for people and democracy? The European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law and European Digital Rights organised the event.
FRA took part in the plenary meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee on artificial intelligence (CAI) on 24 October in Strasbourg.
FRA’s Director was in Ireland from 26 to 27 September, where he gave a speech on protecting human rights in the digital age.
Online public services can make it easier to get social benefits or find information. But older people sometimes lack the necessary digital skills to use them. This is a potential barrier to their fundamental rights. It can put them at a disadvantage and risks excluding them from our digitalised societies, warns a report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). EU countries need to ensure access to public services for everyone. Older people should be able to choose how they access public services and receive support to learn digital skills.
FRA’s Director took part in a Digital Assembly 2023 side-session on the Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles on 16 June in Stockholm.
On 13 June, FRA spoke at a high-level panel discussion on digitalisation and migration challenges. The discussion featured during a conference on digital innovation.
FRA was part of the EU Delegation at the 6th plenary meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee on artificial intelligence (AI).
The impact of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, rising child poverty, widespread hate and protecting rights in the face of technological change are just some of the pressing human rights issues in FRA’s 2023 Fundamental Rights Report. With a focus section on the impact of the aggression within the EU, the report examines the support and solidarity provided by governments, local authorities and society. It suggests how EU countries can better ensure effective protection, especially for women who fled the conflict and need targeted support.
The Swedish Presidency of the EU invited FRA and Europol to a discussion on artificial intelligence from a law enforcement perspective.
An increased number of oversight bodies in EU Member States now monitors the work of intelligence services. But people whose human rights were violated still have difficulty getting justice, finds an update from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It supports the work of the European Parliament Committee investigating the use of the Pegasus spyware (PEGA). The Parliament will adopt its final resolution on spyware in June 2023.
FRA joined the 31st conference of the European Data Protection Authorities.
FRA joined the 5th plenary meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee on artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the EU Delegation.
FRA will attend a Ministerial Meeting of the EU Internet Forum. This event will allow participants to exchange views on how to adapt responses to new circumstances in the field of AI.
FRA will take part in the 2023 edition of the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE) on 22 November in Barcelona.
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The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, in cooperation with the European Commission, will host the 4th European AI Alliance Assembly.
A Collaborative Platform on Social and Economic Rights will meet to discuss realising social rights in the age of digitalisation.
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Once again, FRA will sponsor the annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels. This year, it takes place from 24 to 26 May.
FRA will join a conference on innovation on 23 May organised by the Court of Justice of the EU.
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FRA will speak during the Privacy Symposium in Venice.
On 28 February, FRA’s Director will present the updated report on surveillance by intelligence services to the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA).
The Estonian Human Rights Centre will host a conference on artificial intelligence and human rights on 26 January in Tallinn.
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The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media is organising a conference to discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on freedom of expression.
The first Global Forum on the Ethics of AI will be hosted by Czechia on 13 December in Prague.
On 4 November, FRA Director will take part in the Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. He will speak about automating human rights and host a roundtable on digital technologies and human rights.
FRA will join the opening ceremony of the summer school on the regulation of robotics and AI in Europe on 4 July.
FRA will host a panel debate on modern technologies used for law enforcement and fundamental rights at this year’s annual Computer, Privacy and Data Protection conference.
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On 19 and 20 May, the Croatian data protection authority, AZOP, hosts the 30th conference of data protection authorities in Dubrovnik.
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The European Policy Congress this year will focus on whether change poses a risk or a chance.
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FRA will join the Privacy Symposium, a conference that takes place in Venice from 5-7 April.
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FRA and the Council of Europe will gather experts to support the publication of a joint handbook on European law relating to cybercrime and fundamental rights.
FRA's Director will discuss the impact of bias when developing trustworthy Artificial Intelligence at a European Parliament public hearing.
FRA will join a discussion on 29 November on ethical principles and fundamental rights considerations in data innovation for migration policy.