Under Regulation (EC) 45/2001, the data controller is the institution or body that determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. In particular, the controller has the duties of ensuring the quality of data and, in the case of the EU institutions and bodies, of notifying the processing operation to the data protection officer (DPO). In addition, the data controller is also responsible for the security measures protecting the data.
The controller is also the entity that receives requests from data subjects to exercise their rights.
The controller must co-operate with the DPO, and may consult him or her for an opinion on any data protection related question.
See also: Q&A on Controller
The principle of “data minimization” means that a data controller should limit the collection of personal information to what is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish a specified purpose. They should also retain the data only for as long as is necessary to fulfil that purpose. In other words, data controllers should collect only the personal data they really need, and should keep it only for as long as they need it.
The data minimization principle derives from Article 6.1(b) and (c) of Directive 95/46/EC and Article 4.1(b) and (c) of Regulation EC (No) 45/2001, which provide that personal data must be "collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes" and must be "adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and/or further processed".
Data mining is the process of analysing data from different perspectives and summarising it into useful new information. Data mining software is one of a number of tools for interrogating data. It allows users to analyse data from many different dimensions or angles, categorise it, and summarise the relationships identified. Technically, data mining is the process of finding correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases. It is commonly used in a wide range of profiling practices, such as marketing, surveillance, fraud detection and scientific discovery. Obviously, for data mining to be effective it is necessary to analyse large amounts of previously collected data.
A data protection authority is an independent body which is in charge of:
According to Article 28 of Directive 95/46/EC, each Member State shall establish in its territory at least one data protection authority, which shall be endowed with investigative powers (such as access to data, collection of information, etc.), effective powers of intervention (power to order the erasure of data, to impose a ban on a processing, etc.), and the power to start legal proceedings when data protection law has been violated.
National data protection authorities have been established in almost all European countries, as well as in many other countries worldwide.
In addition to the data protection officer foreseen by Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, some EU-institutions have appointed a data protection coordinator in order to coordinate all data protection aspects in the relevant DG, Departments or Units.
Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (also known as "Data Protection Directive") is the centrepiece legislation at EU level in the field of data protection.
The Directive is a framework law, meaning that it is implemented in EU Member States through national laws.
It aims to protect the rights and freedoms of persons with respect to the processing of personal data by laying down guidelines determining when the processing is lawful. The guidelines mainly relate to:
The Member States of the Council of Europe and the European institutions celebrate Data Protection Day each year on 28 January.
This date marks the anniversary of the Council of Europe's Convention 108, the first legally binding international instrument related to data protection.
The EDPS usually takes part in the celebration of the event by setting up an information stand in the main EU institutions.
Each Community institution and body shall, in order to comply with Regulation (EC) 45/2001, have a data protection officer (DPO). The DPO shall ensure the internal application of the Regulation and that the rights and freedoms of the data subjects are not likely to be adversely affected by the processing operations.
The DPO shall also keep a register of processing operations that have been notified by the controllers of the institution or body where he or she works.
According to Article 22 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, the data controller shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure an appropriate level of security in relation to the risks represented by the processing and the nature of the personal data to be protected.
Such measures provide for the prevention of any unauthorised disclosure or access, accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, or alteration and any other unlawful form of processing.
The data subject is the person whose personal data are collected, held or processed.
Data transfer refers to the transmission / communication of data to a recipient in whatever way.
Transfers of personal data within or between Community institutions or bodies or to recipients in EU countries are subject to certain conditions according to Articles 7 and 8 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. For instance, such transfer should be necessary for the legitimate performance of the public tasks involved.
Transfers are subject to specific safeguards when the recipient is located in a country outside the EU / European Economic Area (EEA) according to Articles 25-26 of Directive 95/46/EC and Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. See for instance the conditions for the transfer of PNR data or relating to the Safe Harbour scheme.
The EDPS, in collaboration with European consumer organisation BEUC, is hosting a joint conference on Big Data: individual rights and smart enforcement. The conference will take place in Brussels on 29 September 2016. For more information on the conference and how to register, visit the EDPS Events page.
Our IT services are undergoing scheduled maintenance from 12 to 15 August. Please note that, for technical reasons, we cannot guarantee that the complaints and annexed files submitted during this period will reach us - despite a possible acknowledgement of receipt. Should you not receive any acknowledgement of receipt within 10 working days from submitting your complaint, please do let us know.
The EDPS’ free app, EU Data Protection, has been updated! You can now consult the texts of General Data Protection Regulation (REG) 2016/679 and the Directive 2016/680 for the police and criminal justice sector alongside the texts they replace.
Fablab on GDPR, Participation of Wojciech Wiewiórowski and Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium
Extraordinary Plenary Session of the Article 29 Working Party, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium
45th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum, Participation and speeches of Giovanni Buttarelli on Update on EU GDPR and Calibrating Privacy Principles to a Big Data and Digital Society, Singapore
Launch of EU Data Protection Whitepaper, British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, Keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium
Marketing and profiling in the European Union, participation and speeches by Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium
Privacy Laws & Business Annual International Conference, Wojciech Wiewiórowski in panels on Privacy terms and conditions and How data protection rules should be enforced in tandem with competition and consumer policy, Cambridge, UK
Confindustria Radio Televisioni General Assembly 2016, Giovanni Buttarelli in a panel on Authority, Markets and Rights, Rome, Italy
Reframing Data Transparency, Wojciech Wiewiórowski in a Roundtable Discussion organised by the Centre for Information Policy Leadership and Telefónica, London, UK