Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) presented the EDPS Annual Report 2016 to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 4 May 2017. By way of reminder, the EDPS is the EU’s independent data protection authority, tasked with ensuring that the institutions and bodies of the EU respect data protection law.
Mr Buttarelli said that although the publication of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 4 May 2016 represented a big step towards achieving the 3 objectives set out in the EDPS Strategy 2015-2019 (namely data protection goes digital; forging global partnerships and opening a new chapter for EU data protection); there is still more work to be done.
A particular focus in 2016 was on promoting accountability. In this respect, the accountability initiative, designed to help the EU institutions adapt to the new requirements, was launched. In addition, a considerable effort has been made to help move the global debate on data protection and privacy forward and move mainstream data protection into international policies. New initiatives continued to be pursued, such as the Ethics Advisory Group, through which Mr Buttarelli says he intends to stimulate global debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era.
Mr Buttarelli emphasised that he aims to make data protection as simple and effective as possible for all involved by ensuring that EU policy both reflects the realities of data protection in the digital era and encourages compliance through accountability.