The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is a relatively new, but increasingly influential, independent supervisory authority. It is responsible for monitoring the processing of personal data by the European institutions and bodies, advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy and cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection across Europe.
The Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, and Assistant Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, were appointed in December 2014 by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Under their guidance, the EDPS aims to lead by example, ensuring that, in an era of unprecedented technological change, the EU continues to shape the global standard for privacy and data protection.
In March 2015, we published the EDPS Strategy 2015-2019. This outlines our vision and objectives for the current mandate and how we aim to achieve them. We have already made significant progress in several areas. For example, we recently published EDPS Guidelines on the use of eCommunications and Mobile Devices in the workplace, offering practical advice to organisations on how to integrate data protection principles in their management of email, internet and telephony for work purposes.
Another key focus of our work has been on the development of an ethical dimension to data protection. In September 2015, the EDPS urged the EU, and those responsible internationally, to promote an ethical dimension in future technologies, aimed at safeguarding the value of human dignity. In keeping with this, we are currently involved in setting up an Ethics Advisory Group, which will help us to better assess the ethical implications of how personal information is defined and used in the big data and artificial intelligence driven world.
In addition to this, 2015 saw the publication of influential Opinions on Big Data, the data protection reform and passenger name records, among others, all aimed at enforcing and reinforcing EU data protection and privacy standards. As the current mandate moves into its second year, we will continue to work towards achieving our vision of an EU which leads by example in the global dialogue on data protection and privacy in the digital age.