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Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 (Chapter V) lays down the duties and powers of the EDPS and the Assistant Supervisor, as well as the institutional independence of the supervisory authority. This background has been essential in the setting up of the secretariat.

The general mission of the EDPS is to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals - in particular their privacy - are respected when the European institutions and bodies process personal data or develop new policies. In practice, the EDPS responsibilities and objectives can be summarised as follows:

  • prior checking the processing of personal data by European institutions and bodies that poses specific risks for the people concerned and keeping a register of processing operations notified to the EDPS;
  • hearing and investigating complaints  lodged by people whose data are processed (data subjects) by European institutions and bodies, including from staff members of the EU administration;
  • conducting inquiries and inspections, either on his own initiative, or on the basis of a complaint. To do this effectively, the EDPS relies on different powers to collect the information needed, such as the right to access personal data and other information as well as physical access to premises. Inquiries may result in advice on how a data subject can exercise his/her rights. The EDPS can also adopt further measures, such as ordering data to be rectified, banning processing, or even referring the matter to the European Court of Justice. The full list of powers is laid down in Article 47 of the Regulation;
  • advising the European institutions and bodies on all matters relating to the processing of personal data. This includes consultation  on proposals for legislation and monitoring  new developments that have an impact on the protection of personal data and privacy, in particular relating to information and communication technologies;
  • being the supervisory authority for the central unit of Eurodac, a large scale system with fingerprints to assist in determining the competent Member State for asylum applications;
  • cooperating with national supervisory authorities bilaterally as well as in the context of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. This duty also extends to cooperation with supervisory bodies established in the context of large scale IT systems;
  • intervening in actions before the Court of Justice.

> Regulation (EC) No 45/2001


> Decision of the EDPS of 17 December 2012 on the adoption of Rules of Procedure

  • 10 February 2017

    Is your toaster watching you?, Lunchtime conference on the Internet of Things, Speeches by Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 08 February 2017

    6th Data Protection Forum with Mr Viljar PEEP, Director General, Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 08 February 2017

    e-Privacy Breakfast Debate organised by EIF, Speech by Wojciech Wiewiórowski, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

  • 08 February 2017

    e-Privacy Directive: Combining Modern Marketing & Privacy, Event organised by FEDMA, Speech by Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 07 February 2017

    109th Plenary meeting of the Article 29 Working Party, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 06 February 2017

    Workshop on the current trends and practices in biobanking in the light of European and national data protection requirements? Participation of Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 03 February 2017

    Giovanni Buttarelli speaking on GDPR in panel New rules and what to do next in the conference organised by Confindustria Il nuovo Regolamento europeo sulla protezione dei dati personali, Rome, Italy

  • 01 February 2017

    Giovanni Buttarelli meeting with Bob Quinn, Senior Executive Vice President, AT&T, Brussels, Belgium