The right to protection of personal data is a fundamental right. It is different from, but closely linked to, the right to respect for private and family life. This distinction is notably made in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - which mentions the two rights separately, although next to each other in Articles 7 and 8.
Data protection is highly developed in the EU. The central piece of legislation is Directive 95/46/EC , which regulates the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data. Implemented into national laws, the Directive applies to all EU Member States as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 lays down the same rights and obligations, but on the level of the EU institutions and bodies. It also establishes the EDPS as independent supervisory authority with the task of ensuring that the Regulation is complied with.
Citizens who feel that their rights have been infringed should contact the competent data protection authority, at national or European level.
As this is a specialised field, some useful information is available in the glossary, and the Q&A section of this website. This may also be helpful for those who want to know more about the obligations they need to comply with.
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What to expect when we inspect - read the new EDPS Factsheet on inspections
An ethical approach to fundamental rights - read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli
Breaking the rules: conducting administrative inquiries in the EU institutions - read the latest blogpost by Wojciech Wiewiórowski
An ancient city looking to the future: The 38th International Privacy Conference in Marrakech - read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli
Ch@arterClick! Project Workshop, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli in Interactive Key-Note Panel: Plurality of legal instruments governing data protection – objectives, interactions, added value, Florence, Italy (via a video link)
Giovanni Buttarelli participates in DAPIX meeting, Brussels, Belgium
Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski meeting with Mrs Mari Sonoda, Secretary-General for PPC Secretariat, Brussels, Belgium
S&D Workshop on Consumers' rights in the digital world, European Parliament, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli in panel on Relationship between the DCD and the GDPR, Brussels, Belgium
S&D Workshop on Consumers' rights in the digital world, European Parliament, Participation of Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium
VUB Data Protection Law Reading Group, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the Nordic Data Protection Commissioners, Participation of Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium
5th Data Protection Forum with ICO Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium