EDPS investigates Frontex and Europol

Presenting his annual report today before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), highlighted the importance of a human centric approach to AI, privacy protection of migrants and the concerns regarding the data processing by Frontex (The European Border and Coast Guard Agency) in Lesbos, Greece, and the risks and significant shortcomings of the proposed Regulation on Child Sexual Abuse Material.

Wiewiórowski said that as the AI Act enforcer for the EU institutions, his office currently does not have enough resources to do this job. He also highlighted the field of AI and neuroscience as one to watch in the future, and said that while the GDPR has shown its strength as a benchmark, we can expect further debates on certain topics such as the purpose limitation principle.

The EDPS has investigated Frontex, as it has had concerns over the processing of data of migrants since 2020. Although Frontex has improved its measures, there are still doubts regarding the legal bases for processing. The EDPS will issue its decision in the coming weeks, Wiewiórowski said.

The EDPS is also currently investigating Europol over a data breach on missing personnel files – the EDPS has doubts over Europol’s internal processes.

Regarding the nyob complaint over the EU Commission’s micro-targeting on Twitter (X), Wiewiórowski explained that the EDPS is still gathering information, and cannot comment further at this stage. The case is about the proposed EU regulation on chat control, encrypted online communications, and garnering public support for the proposal. Nyob claims that the EU Commission targeted users based on their political views.

The EDPS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and is organising a conference on 20 June. Mr Wiewiórowski hopes to renew his five-year mandate which began in December 2019.