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
6
June
2018
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern.
30
May
2018
We live in a world of big data, where technological developments in the area of
machine learning and artificial intelligence have changed the way we live. Decisions
and processes concerning everyday life are increasingly automated, based on
data. This affects fundamental rights in various ways.
This focus paper specifically deals with discrimination, a fundamental rights area
particularly affected by technological developments.
25
May
2018
New language versions - Danish, Lithuanian, Slovenian
10 November 2021
The rapid development of information technology has exacerbated the need for robust personal
data protection, the right to which is safeguarded by both European Union (EU) and Council of
Europe (CoE) instruments. Safeguarding this important right entails new and significant challenges
as technological advances expand the frontiers of areas such as surveillance, communication
interception and data storage. This handbook is designed to familiarise legal practitioners not
specialised in data protection with this emerging area of the law.
9
May
2018
With terrorism, cyber-attacks and sophisticated cross-border criminal networks posing growing threats, the work of intelligence services has become more urgent, complex and international. Such work can strongly interfere with fundamental rights, especially privacy and data protection. While continuous technological advances potentially exacerbate the threat of such interference, effective oversight and remedies can curb the potential for abuse.
This video blog by FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty is released periodically and will address burning fundamental rights themes.
19
April
2018
This Opinion by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aims to inform
the European Parliament position concerning legislative proposals on interoperability
between EU information technology systems (IT systems) presented on 12 December 2017
and currently discussed by the EU legislators.
28
March
2018
This report outlines the fundamental rights implications of collecting, storing and using
biometric and other data in EU IT systems in the area of asylum and migration.
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.
This second volume, ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’, explores legal changes since the first volume in 2015 and how these laws are applied in practice. It is based on data from all EU Member States on the legal framework governing surveillance and complemented by field research in seven Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. This involved more than 70 interviews with a range of stakeholders related to surveillance. These included overseers and controllers from the executive, indedepent expert bodies, parliamentary committees, the judiciary and actors from the civil society. These quotes are contained in the report. Below are a selection of some of them:
23
October
2017
This report is FRA’s second publication addressing a European Parliament request for in-depth research on the
impact of surveillance on fundamental rights. It updates FRA’s 2015 legal analysis on the topic, and supplements
that analysis with field-based insights gained from extensive interviews with diverse experts in intelligence
and related fields, including its oversight.
13
July
2017
In 2006 the EU issued its Data Retention Directive. According to the Directive, EU Member States had to store electronic telecommunications data for at least six months and at most 24 months for investigating, detecting and prosecuting serious crime. In 2016, with an EU legal framework on data retention still lacking, the CJEU further clarified what safeguards are required for data retention to be lawful.This paper looks at amendments to national data retention laws in 2016 after the Digital Rights Ireland judgment.
11
July
2017
The European Parliament requested this FRA Opinion on the fundamental rights and personal data protection implications of the proposed Regulation for the creation of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), including an assessment of the fundamental rights aspects of the access
by law enforcement authorities and Europol.
7
July
2017
Various proposals on EU-level information systems in the areas of borders and security mention interoperability, aiming to provide fast and easy access to information about third-country nationals.
30
May
2017
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
30
May
2017
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
29
May
2017
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Such a milestone offers an opportunity for reflection – both on the progress that provides cause for celebration and on the lingering shortcomings that must be addressed.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, took part in a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 9 February.
25
January
2017
The European Parliament asked the Agency to provide its Opinion on the fundamental rights impact of the proposed revision of the Eurodac Regulation on children.
The handbook on European data protection law is designed to familiarise legal practitioners not specialised in data protection with this emerging area of the law.
FRA presented its paper on facial recognition technology to the Council Working Party on information exchange and data protection (DAPIX) on 5 December in Brussels.
The guide of preventing unlawful profiling today and in the future explains what profiling is, the legal frameworks that regulate it, and why conducting profiling lawfully is both necessary to comply with fundamental rights and crucial for effective policing and border management.
The handbook on European data protection law is designed to familiarise legal practitioners not specialised in data protection with this emerging area of the law.
FRA joined the Council of Europe’s Octopus Conference on cybercrime in Strasbourg from 10 to 22 November.
Private companies and public authorities worldwide increasingly use facial recognition technology. Several EU Member States are now considering, testing or planning to use it for law enforcement purposes as well. While this technology potentially supports fighting terrorism and solving crimes, it also affects people’s fundamental rights. A new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) paper looks at the fundamental rights implications of relying on live facial recognition technology, focusing on its use for law enforcement and border management purposes.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) invited several EU agencies to discuss results of their project on possible uses of artificial intelligence by EU agencies.
On 14 November, FRA took part in the 3rd Digitising European Industry Stakeholder Forum, organised by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
The 2018 edition of the handbook on European data protection law is designed to familiarise legal practitioners not specialised in data protection with this emerging area of law.
On 16 October in Tallinn, FRA joined a panel debate on the effects of digitalisation on data analytics and the use of artificial intelligence in area of justice and home affairs during eu-LISA’s annual conference.
On 23 October, FRA joined the Equinet Annual General Meeting.
FRA took part in the fourth and last meeting of the Council of Europe’s expert meeting on the human rights dimensions of automated data processing and artificial intelligence in Strasbourg on 23 and 24 September.
On 19 and 20 September, FRA attended the 3rd EDEN Conference on Data Protection in Law Enforcement.
FRA gave a keynote presentation during the OSCE’s Annual Police Experts Meeting (APEM), which took place in Vienna on 23 and 24 September.
It is with great sadness that the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights learned about the death of Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor.
Civil society organisations largely understand the EU’s new data protection rules. But they find it challenging to implement them even though it did not much affect their daily work, finds a FRA focus paper one year after the rules took effect.
A new FRA focus paper questions the quality of data behind automated decision-making and underlines the need to pay more attention to improving data quality in artificial intelligence.
Many people across the EU risk being left behind, as growing intolerance and attacks on people’s fundamental rights continue to erode the considerable progress achieved to date, finds FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019.
This 2018 edition of the handbook on European data protection law is now also available in German.
The European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence published their Ethics Guidelines on Trustworthy AI on 8 April.
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FRA will participate in the 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.
FRA, in cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet), will host a capacity-building workshop on unlawful profiling on 9 October in Nicosia.
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FRA will join a meeting of the Spanish international legal cooperation network from 7 to 8 October in Toledo.
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FRA will join the 7th Europol-INTERPOL cybercrime conference on law enforcement in the connected future.
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Facial recognition technology has developed considerably over the past years resulting in a lot of discussion.
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FRA will join discussions in Berlin from 17 to 18 September on setting the conditions for a possible EU framework for governing Artificial Intelligence.
FRA will join discussions at the informal meeting of the Council Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens' Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP) on 11 September in Helsinki.
FRA has been invited to a hearing of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
FRA will present its focus paper on data quality and artificial intelligence to the Council Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX) on 3 September in Brussels.
Every year in July, the Institute for European Studies, the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies and the University of Vienna organise their joint inter-university summer school on EU policy making.
FRA will deliver a keynote speech during a University College Dublin Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics.
FRA will chair a session on Big Data legal questions during a conference on human rights challenges in the digital age.
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FRA will give a presentation on EU data protection law and fundamental rights during the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) course on data protection.
On 19 June, FRA will take part in the plenary session of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) 2019, which will take place at the World Forum The Hague.
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FRA will have an active role in this year’s RightsCon, which is one of the world’s largest summits on human rights in the digital age.
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The Police and Human Rights Programme of the Dutch section of Amnesty International will hold an expert meeting on predictive policing from 20 to 21 May in Amsterdam.
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The agency will host, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the second expert meeting on cybercrime and fundamental rights from 14 to 15 May.
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During the Romanian Presidency’s e-justice conference, the agency will speak on the panel on the use of Artificial Intelligence technologies in the field of justice.
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This year’s conference of European Data Protection Authorities will be held in Tbilisi from 9 to 10 May.
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The agency will take part in a seminar on electronic evidence organised by the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary in Madrid from 6 to 8 May.