Challenges ahead for the European Data Protection Board
The retiring Chair of the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, who is the President of France’s CNIL (data protection commission), said that some national DPAs have expressed concern over the slow progress with GDPR adaptation laws. The European Data Protection Board, which will replace the Art 29 WP, will start its work on 25 May but it may not be able to take decisions under the consistency mechanism if not all national DPAs are empowered to attend. This may be the case if they are nominated as the regulator in the national adaptation law, but the law is not in place by May. So far, only Germany and Austria have adopted new laws.
The Article 29 Working Party elected Dr Andrea Jelinek as its new Chair. Dr Jelinek is the Director of Austria’s Data Protection Authority. She emphasised data protection as a fundamental right, and the importance of creating awareness of new data subject rights.
Summarising the work of the Art 29 WP in the last four years, Falque-Pierrotin said that the DPAs are more and more efficient and able to enforce the law in a united way. Future cooperation will be even more intense in the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).
The WP 29 has now prepared 12 guidelines on the GDPR. Falque-Pierrotin said that they are not set in stone. She expects revisions in the future as they must adapt to reality. The consultation period of the last of this first set of guidelines (BCRs, Adequacy) has now closed and the WP29 will adopt the final versions soon. She said that there may be more guidelines in the future.
“We are not a closed group. We are not closed to external contacts – and have been very active in building bridges with international counterparts,” Falque-Pierrotin said, including in Asia. She encouraged external stakeholders to get involved and provide examples of processing situations. But she said that stakeholders should not expect to rewrite the text. The regulators have the last word.
See the press conference at https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/article-29-working-party-plenary
These issues will be discussed further at PL&B’s 31st Annual International Conference 2-4 July in Cambridge, UK.