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
5
December
2016
EU Member States are increasingly involved in border management activities on the high seas, within – or in
cooperation with – third countries, and at the EU’s borders. Such activities entail risks of violating the principle
of non-refoulement, the cornerstone of the international legal regime for the protection of refugees, which
prohibits returning individuals to a risk of persecution. This report aims to encourage fundamental-rights
compliant approaches to border management, including by highlighting potential grey areas.
5
December
2016
EU Member States are increasingly involved in border management activities on the high seas, within – or in cooperation with – third countries, and at the EU’s borders. Such activities entail risks of violating the principle of non-refoulement, the cornerstone of the international legal regime for the protection of refugees, which prohibits returning individuals to a risk of persecution. This guidance outlines specific suggestions on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in these
situations – a practical tool developed with the input of experts during a meeting held in
Vienna in March of 2016.
30
May
2016
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen
fundamental rights in 2015. Some of these efforts produced important progress; others fell short of their aims. Meanwhile,
various global developments brought new – and exacerbated existing – challenges.
30
May
2016
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued
numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015.
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2016 summarises and analyses major
developments in the fundamental rights field, noting both progress made
and persisting obstacles. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the
main developments in the thematic areas covered and a synopsis of the
evidence supporting these opinions. In so doing, it provides a compact but
informative overview of the main fundamental rights challenges confronting
the EU and its Member States.
18
November
2015
This report, drafted in response to the European Parliament’s call for thorough research on fundamental rights protection in the context of surveillance, maps and analyses the legal frameworks on surveillance in place in EU Member States.
18
November
2015
In April 2014, the European Parliament requested the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) “to undertake in–depth research on the protection of fundamental rights in the context
of surveillance”. This summary presents FRA’s main research findings, which are published in full in the report entitled Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU – Mapping Member States’ legal frameworks.
22
October
2015
Processing biometric data for immigration, asylum and border management purposes has become common. This focus paper looks at measures authorities can take to enforce the obligation of newly arrived asylum seekers and migrants in an irregular situation to provide fingerprints for inclusion in Eurodac.
25
June
2015
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.
EU internal security concerns, including the threat of terrorist attacks, have affected the data protection debate, while mass surveillance and government secrecy have continued to be widely discussed.
26
January
2015
FRA was requested by the European Commission (EC) in January 2014 to provide practical guidance on the processing of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes, in light of efforts by Member States to establish national PNR systems. As a result, in informal consultation with EC services and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and building on opinions FRA, the EDPS and the Article 29 Working Party on PNR, FRA presented twelve fundamental rights considerations to EU Member States experts at technical level.
9
July
2014
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by
assuming
new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental
rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast,
unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.
6
June
2014
This year’s FRA annual report looks at fundamental rights-related developments in asylum, immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society, respect for private life and data protection; the rights of the child and the protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; access to justice and judicial cooperation; rights of crime victims; EU Member States and international obligations.
5
March
2014
This factsheet presents some examples of survey findings, which are placed alongside general considerations as possible ‘ways forward’ for responding to violence against women.
27
January
2014
This summary presents the FRA’s main research conclusions, which are published in full in Access to data protection remedies in EU Member States.
27
January
2014
Technological advances make it ever more important to safeguard the right to personal data, which is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Data protection violations arise principally from internet‑based activities, direct marketing and video surveillance, perpetrated by, for example, government bodies or financial and health institutions, research by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows.
5
June
2014
This handbook is designed to familiarise legal practitioners who are not specialised in the field of data protection with this area of law. It provides an overview of the EU’s and the CoE’s applicable legal frameworks.
3
December
2013
Police officers who ensure that people are able to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms earn the respect and trust of the public. With this in mind, this manual sets out to foster such human rights-based police work by integrating human rights training into the heart of police training, in line with the European Union’s goals in the field of justice and home affairs.
18
June
2013
This year’s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2012 – puts the spotlight on key legal and policy developments in the field of fundamental rights in 2012.
18
June
2013
Against a backdrop of rising unemployment and increased deprivation, this FRA Annual report closely examines the situation of those, such as children, who are vulnerable to budget cuts, impacting important fields such as education, healthcare and social services. It looks at the discrimination that Roma continue to face and the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse. It considers the impact the crises have had on the basic principle of the rule of law, as well as stepped up EU Member State efforts to ensure trust in justice systems.
The EU-funded Human Brain Project held their AI 360 COPENHAGEN workshop from 21 to 22 March.
The agency took part in the Council of Europe’s expert meeting on human rights dimensions of automated data processing and artificial intelligence in Strasbourg on 18 and 19 March.
In response to a request of the European Parliament of 6 February 2019, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has issued an Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online and its fundamental rights implications.
Last March, nearly 90 million users discovered that their personal data had been abused as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. This happened just two months before Europe’s revamped data protection rules were due to apply. Marking Europe’s Data Protection Day on 28 January, FRA urges users to regain control of their personal data.
The agency presented its new FRA guide on preventing unlawful profiling to delegates of the Council of the EU’s Working Party on Law Enforcement so that it can feed into their policy work.
The agency gave a presentation on EU data protection law and recent case law developments during a judicial training session on data protection and privacy rights.
The year 2018 saw many significant anniversaries in the world of human rights. It was the year that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 and the European Convention on Human Rights 65.
The Council of Europe’s European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) adopted a European Ethical Charter on using artificial intelligence in judicial systems.
In policing and border management, officials increasingly use profiling to support their work. But is it always lawful? The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ updated guide helps answer this question with tips on how to avoid unlawful profiling.
The Agency presented figures on cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment from its violence against women survey during a panel discussion on cybercrime against women and girls in Vienna on 26 November.
On 8 November, the Agency took part in the fourth meeting of the Commission’s High Level Expert on Artificial Intelligence, which took place in Brussels.
The Agency introduced its forthcoming Guide on Preventing Unlawful Profiling during a seminar for equality bodies on countering ethnic profiling. The seminar brought together members of the 28 EU Equality Bodies, civil society, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Court of Appeal.
The Agency hosted a round-table discussion at this year’s Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, which took place from 5 to 8 November.
The Agency organised a panel discussion on transparency for detecting discrimination in artificial intelligence applications during the Amsterdam Privacy Conference on 7 October.
On 27 September, Microsoft hosted a Data Science and Law Forum in their Brussels office.
The Agency provided expert advice during an online seminar organised by the EU’s Law Enforcement Training Agency.
On 20 September, the Agency joined the second expert workshop on the European Investigation Order and digital forensics.
From 13 to 14 September, the Agency took part in the annual meeting of the Working Group on Asylum and Immigration established within the European Association of Administrative Judges.
On 6 September, the Agency held an information session in Athens on the EU data protection rules related to processing the personal data of third-country nationals entering Greece in an unauthorised manner.
EU plans to overhaul national identity documents by adding fingerprints and facial imagery could put EU citizens’ privacy and personal data at risk, finds the latest Opinion from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
On 11 April in Brussels, the agency will present an overview of case law concerning data retention to the Council if the European Union’s Working Party on International Exchange and Data Protection Friends of Presidency (Data retention).
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From 4 to 5 April in Lisbon, the Lisbon Centre for Research in Public Law of Lisbon’s Law School will run a workshop on data protection, and the implementation of EU law and the use of judicial dialogue techniques.
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This year’s the European Academy of European Law’s annual conference on data protection law will take place from 28 to 29 March in Brussels.
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The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is hosting a conference on criminal justice in cyberspace.
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The Finnish Presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and the Council of Europe are jointly organising a high-level conference on the impact of artificial intelligence development on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
FRA’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, will give the opening address at a roundtable discussion on Artificial Intelligence and online hate speech on 31 January in Brussels.
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At this year’s International Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference (CPDP) in Brussels from 31 January, the agency will introduce three strands of its research.
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At this year’s International Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference (CPDP) in Brussels from 31 January, the agency will introduce three strands of its research.
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is organising a conference on artificial intelligence and humane justice at the University of Lille on 30 November.
On 6 December, the Agency will host 30 members from the Austrian Association for European Criminal Law.
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Europol’s Data Protection Experts Network (EDEN) and the Academy of European Law (ERA) are hosting a conference in the Hague from 22 to 23 November on freedom and security.
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The Agency and the Council of Europe are jointly organising a cybercrime experts meeting in Bucharest that will take place from 15 to 16 November.
The Agency will take part in a panel discussion on mitigating unfair bias in artificial intelligence (AI) at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris on 15 November.
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The Agency will join Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners from around the world for their annual conference (ICDPPC2018).
The Agency will discuss findings from its report on ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’ at the Swedish Ministry of Defence in Stockholm on 12 October.
The FRA Director will be a keynote speaker at the opening session of the OSCE’s 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) which starts in Warsaw on 10 September.
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The FRA will attend the Octopus Conference on Cybercrime, organized by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 11th to 13th July 2018.
The Agency will join the European Commission’s high-level expert group on artificial intelligence.
Judge Robert Spano of the European Court of Human Rights and FRA will jointly present the 2018 edition of the handbook on European data protection law at a plenary meeting of the Council of Europe’s Consultative Committee of the Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (Convention 108+).
The Agency will take part in a meeting on the oportunities and risks of digitalisation for girls and boys in the areas of work covered by the network of EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies.