Despite tumultuous global events, this year has also been one of aspiration and development, with the aim of creating a tomorrow that can effectively tackle the challenges of today, said the European Data Protection Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, as he presented his Annual Report 2022.
Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: “Reflecting on the year 2022, I am proud of the EDPS’ office dedication to make the fundamental right to data protection a reality. This has been shown in many aspects of our work: through our supervisory actions, policy and legislative advice, technology monitoring, and, last but not least, our work in advancing the debate on the functioning and enforcement of the GDPR - in particular through the EDPS Conference 2022, “The Future of Data Protection: Effective Enforcement in the Digital World”.”
The Annual Report 2022 provides an insight into the EDPS’ most significant activities as the independent data protection supervisory authority of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (EUIs). The EDPS uses its powers to protect individuals, especially the most vulnerable. In this respect, particular focus permeated to supervising the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, covering policy areas ranging from the management of external borders, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, migration, asylum, to name a few examples.
Acting as an advisor to the EU Legislator - to ensure that new initiatives uphold and respect individuals’ fundamental rights to privacy and data protection - the EDPS advised and shared expertise on topics relating to health, artificial intelligence, initiatives to help combat crime, to mention a few. Legislative Consultations, often issued in the form of EDPS Opinions or Formal Comments, aim to make sure that personal data is processed sustainably, according to European values.
Another priority of the EDPS’ work continued to be international transfers - where personal data is transferred outside the EU/European Economic Area (EEA). With several ongoing investigations and other tangible actions to execute its Schrems II Strategy, the EDPS has intensified its efforts to ensure that EUIs comply with EU data protection law, by ensuring that individuals’ personal data is protected in the same way inside and outside the EU/EEA. Aiming for EUIs to lead by example in this area, the EDPS continues to promote the use of alternative services, communication tools, based in the EU/EEA, and that process personal data according to EU standards, by launching the pilot of two social media platforms, EU Voice and EU Video, and the collaborative cloud, NextCloud.
Anticipating the technological landscape of tomorrow, the EDPS pursued its technology monitoring and foresight endeavours, as well as fostering digital innovation. Understanding new and emerging technologies - to analyse their privacy and data protection implications on individuals - makes it possible to encourage their development in a privacy-compliant way.
The rules for data protection in the EU institutions, as well as the duties of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), are set out in Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.
About the EDPS: The EDPS is the independent supervisory authority with responsibility for monitoring the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies, advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy and cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection. Our mission is also to raise awareness on risks and protect people’s rights and freedoms when their personal data is processed.
Wojciech Wiewiórowski (EDPS) was appointed by a joint decision of the European Parliament and the Council to serve a five-year term, beginning on 6 December 2019.