EDPS calls for cooperation between DPAs, electoral regulators and audio-visual regulators

In the aftermath of the recent Cambridge Analytica and Facebook revelations, Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), said: “The solution is to be found beyond content management and transparency, though they may help where appropriate. What we also need is better enforcement of the rules on data processing, especially sensitive information like on health, political and religious views, and accountability. Antitrust and merger control – with the support of DPAs - has a central role in addressing structural issues of concentrated markets. But with the threat posed to social norms and democracy we now need to expand collaboration to include electoral regulators and audio-visual media regulators. We also have to change the incentives in the market. That is why new e-Privacy rules are essential.”

The ease of gathering and storing large volumes of data generates massive amounts of digital advertising revenue, the vast majority of which, and the resulting power, is vested in a small number of companies which dominate the digital field, the EDPS says.

Launching today its annual report and an Opinion on online manipulation and personal data, the EDPS says that it is vital to have the EU e-Privacy Regulation adopted, as it has potential to de-incentivise constant tracking and manipulating of individuals. For this purpose, the EDPS advocates a complete ban on so-called tracking walls, and a confirmation that processing of personal data to deliver targeted advertising cannot be considered as necessary for the performance of a service.

The EDPS will host the International Privacy Commissioners’ Conference, “Debating Ethics: Dignity and respect in data drive life”, in Brussels 22-26 October 2018.

Privacy Laws & Business is planning a conference side event for the afternoon of 23 October on compensation and collective action under the GDPR.