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
9
October
2012
Data protection is an issue that affects a number of fundamental rights contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This factsheet discusses some of the key points mentioned in the opinion.
9
October
2012
Following a request by the European Parliament on 5 September 2012 for an analysis of the fundamental rights issues associated with the proposed EU data protection reform package, FRA issued its opinion on the draft legislation on 1 October 2012.
20
June
2012
This year‘s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2011 – chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights, drawing on objective, reliable and comparable socio-legal data.
11
October
2010
When a decision to stop an individual is motivated solely or mainly by virtue of a person's race, ethnicity or religion, this constitutes discriminatory ethnic profiling. Such practices can serve to alienate certain communities in the EU, and in turn can contribute to inefficient policing. The FRA guide aims to help the police address and avoid discriminatory ethnic profiling, and is designed to be used as a tool for more effective policing.
7
May
2010
The EU plays a pioneering role in the protection of personal data. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU enshrines the right to data protection as an autonomous fundamental right. Despite the underlying importance and centrality of the right to data protection in the EU, many deficiencies are present in the data protection system. This study on data protection identifies deficiencies in the EU Member States.
20
June
2012
To secure and safeguard the fundamental rights of everyone in the European Union (EU), the EU and its 27 Member States pressed forward with a number of initiatives in 2011. This report chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights.
15
June
2011
Upon request of the European Parliament, the FRA presented an expert opinion on the fundamental rights compliance of a proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (COM(2011) 32 final). This was a follow-up request to the opinion of the FRA related to PNR from October 2008.
11
October
2010
When used as an investigation technique in the context of law enforcement, ethnic profiling is often referred to as “criminal profiling”. This type of profiling uses indicators such as physical features, appearance or behaviour to give a “suspect description”. Profiling becomes unlawful when it is discriminatory.
27
July
2010
"Body scanners" is a generic term used for a technology that is capable of detecting objects carried under clothes.
3
November
2009
On 16 October the Swedish Presidency presented a "draft of the Stockholm Programme" that is to be adopted at the EU summit in December 2009. Following this publication, the Fundamental Rights Agency has presented the following opinion paper "FRA Comments on the Presidency Draft Stockholm Programme" available for download below.
29
July
2009
The FRA opinion paper presents a selection primarily based on the current thematic priorities of the Agency and are inspired by the factual evidence the Agency's own research has so far produced. This contribution is therefore just a first step in a long term approach of the Agency to follow and address the issues in the Stockholm Programme.
28
October
2008
Upon the request of the French Presidency, FRA presented an opinion on the Commission's proposal for a Council framework decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.
Long-term residents could find their sensitive personal data stored indefinitely, under new proposals for the EU’s Visa Information System (VIS). This poses privacy and data protection risks, according to latest Opinion from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
On 27 June the Agency attended the first meeting of the Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence.
FRA’s Director outlined the EU’s pressing fundamental rights challenges during an exchange of views with the European Parliament’s Committee of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on 20 June in Brussels.
The European Migration Network held a conference on information and communication technologies in migration processes, in Krakow on 21 June.
The EU’s Network and Information Security Agency, ENISA, held its Annual Privacy Forum in Barcelona from 13 to 14 June where FRA introduced its project on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Rights, as well as FRA’s focus paper on discrimination in data-supported decision making.
The Agency will introduce its project on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Rights during ENISA’s Annual Privacy Forum in Barcelona on 13 and 14 June.
On 4 June, the Agency took part in the meeting of the Finnish Human Rights Delegation in Helsinki.
Nearly 60% of Europeans consider being old a disadvantage when looking for work. Societies often view older people as burdens. Too often we overlook the basic human rights of our older people. This year, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its 2018 Fundamental Rights Report explores how a rights-based approach towards respect for older people is starting to happen.
The European University Institute in Florence held a conference on 24 May on Information Sharing and European Agencies: Novel Frontiers.
A new focus paper from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines the potential for discrimination in using big data for automated decision making. It also suggests potential ways of minimising this risk.
The European Union and the Council of Europe have reviewed their legal frameworks for the protection of personal data to keep pace with changes in this fast-moving area. Building on the popular practical handbook on European data protection law, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe and the European Data Protection Supervisor have just published an update as the EU’s new data protection rules take effect and the modernised text of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 has just been adopted.
The Agency took part in the 2018 Conference for Operational Heads of Airports in Venice from 27 to 29 March that was organised by Frontex.
On 23 April, the Agency attended a meeting in Strasbourg of EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies to discuss preparations for increasing the mandate of the eu-LISA agency in the areas of statistics and quality control.
On 19 April, the Agency presented its legal opinion on the European Commission’s two interoperability proposals at a meeting with the rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs in the European Parliament.
On 16 April, the Agency took part in a panel discussion organised by the OSCE Security Committee.
The French intelligence oversight body (CNCTR) and the Conseil d’État hosted a conference in Paris on 6 April to explore intelligence and its oversight.
The Agency highlighted the fundamental rights implications of fighting cybercrime during an expert workshop on the European Investigation Order and digital forensics.
IT systems can help trace missing migrant children and combat identity theft. But there are also significant risks to people’s fundamental rights, for instance not being fairly treated within the asylum procedure. So finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in a new report. As authorities increasingly rely on these systems, the report suggests ways to better defend the rights of those affected.
The Agency took part in the first meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee of experts on human rights dimensions of automated data processing and different forms of artificial intelligence.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, presented FRA’s work priorities for this year to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in Brussels on 20 February, as it does each year.
The FRA Director will address speakers during a conference to mark the EU’s new data protection rules entering into force.
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The Agency’s surveillance report will be presented during the European Economic and Social Committee’s 2018 Civil Society Days, which takes place from 24 to 25 May in Brussels.
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This year the RightsCon Conference will take place in Toronto from 16 to 18 May.
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The Agency will take part in the annual conference of European Data Protection Authorities, ‘Data Protection, Better Together’.
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The Agency will present its privacy and data protection work during the 2018 Annual Conference on EU Data Protection Law, taking place in Brussels, between 19 and 20 April
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From 22 to 23 March, the Agency will host its third expert meeting on developing an online tool on EU Member States’ compliance with international human rights law and fundamental rights.
On 28 February, the Agency hosts an expert meeting with the objective of discussing the fundamental rights implications of big data.
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The Bulgarian Presidency of the EU will host a conference in Sofia form 20 to 21 February on the future of data on passenger name records - effective use and challenges.
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The Agency will take part in an expert workshop organised by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) on the right to privacy in the digital age.
The Agency will present its second report on surveillance by intelligence services on 16 February in Paris.
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FRA will host a panel discussion at the annual Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference in Brussels on 26 January.
The Agency will present its second report on surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU to the High Level Expert Group on Internet Governance in Brussels, on 23 January.
The Italian Parliamentary Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services and for State Secret Control will hold a conference in Rome on 17 January on the Agency’s second surveillance report that was published in November 2017.
At the first meeting of the Terrorism Working Party of the Council of the European Union under Bulgarian presidency, the Agency will present its second report on ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’.
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The Agency will take part in the meeting of the EU Agencies’ Network on Scientific Advice (EU-ANSA) in Lisbon from 21 to 22 November.
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During the 2017 International Intelligence Oversight Forum in Brussels, the Agency will present the findings from its recently-published second surveillance report.
The Agency will present its second surveillance report to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee on 21 November in Brussels.
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During the 2017 International Intelligence Oversight Forum in Brussels, the Agency will present the findings from its recently-published second surveillance report.
The Agency will present the findings from its report on surveillance by intelligence services during a workshop in Grenoble on 14 November on oversight.
The Agency will present its second ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’ report at the Intelligence in the knowledge society conference in Bucharest on 27 October.