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

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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.
5
December
2016
EU Member States are increasingly involved in border management activities on the high seas, within – or i 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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).