Reshaping the EDPS to tackle data protection challenges


Reshaping the EDPS to tackle data protection challenges

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is making organisational changes to be able to continuously respond and adapt to the evolving data protection challenges that lie ahead, announced the Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, today.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: Since its establishment, the EDPS’ mandate, responsibilities and tasks have expanded considerably. Likewise, the risks posed by the use of new technologies have accrued, requiring the EDPS to invest its resources in monitoring their impact on individuals’ privacy. To be able to deliver on its commitments, the EDPS has found it necessary to rethink its approach and processes to ensure its efficiency in a fast-changing environment.  

To this end, the EDPS has made the following organisational changes to reflect its priorities.

The Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, has appointed the EDPS’ first Secretary-General, Leonardo Cervera Navas. With over 24 years of experience working in the field of data protection within the EU institutions, and having previously held positions of responsibility within the EDPS, most recently as its Director, Leonardo Cervera Navas will provide strategic advice to the EDPS and will be in charge of overseeing the EDPS’ activities. As Secretary-General, Leonardo Cervera Navas will coordinate the EDPS’ actions to ensure the effective functioning of the EDPS; support the Supervisor in engaging with the EDPS’ stakeholders and other actors in the fields of data protection and privacy in the EU and beyond.

Moreover, to keep up the pace with its evolving role as the data protection authority of the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (EUIs) and the changing digital regulatory landscape, the EDPS has made additional organisational changes.

To ensure the effective enforcement of data protection law, the EDPS has set up specific sectors. Notably, a sector to monitor the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice; a sector to address efficiently complaints made by individuals and to launch timely investigations into the way personal data is processed by EUIs; and a sector to deliver comprehensive advice to EUIs on data protection matters. 

Furthermore, the EDPS has redefined the Technology and Privacy Unit to ensure that technologies embed the principles of privacy and data protection. This includes the creation of a specialised sector to ensure thorough oversight and auditing of IT systems; a sector to anticipate new technologies and their impact on privacy and data protection; and a sector to develop the independent digital transformation of the institution.  Additionally, with the accelerated use of artificial intelligence, the EDPS has set up a task force on this matter to ensure that this technology is used in full respect of data protection law. This task force, like others, will be reporting directly to the Secretary-General.

Together with the creation of the EDPS’ Legal Service, as well as the EDPS’ specialised Unit to ensure the institution’s own accountability earlier in 2021, these changes represent Wojciech Wiewiórowski’s commitment to ensure that the EDPS leads by example when protecting individuals’ fundamental rights to privacy and data protection. Dedicating the appropriate and necessary resources, tools and expertise allows the EDPS to tackle ongoing and future data protection challenges.

Background information

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.

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