On September 23, 2016, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) announced the intention to set up a Digital Clearing House to promote a more coherent enforcement of EU privacy rules. With Opinion 8/2016, Coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big data, the EDPS drew attention to the “concentration of market power and personal data in fewer and fewer hands, with the internet experience characterized by ‘walled gardens’ and take it-or-leave-it data use policies”.
The EDPS launched a debate on how the EU’s objectives might be applied more coherently to protect individuals’ rights and came up with some practical recommendations to the EU institutions on how to remedy this lack of coherency. It therefore recommended establishing a Digital Clearing House for enforcement in the EU digital sector: a voluntary network of regulatory bodies to share information “about possible abuses in the digital ecosystem and the most effective way of tackling them. This should be supplemented by guidance on how regulators could coherently apply rules protecting the individual”.
The EDPS also recommended that EU institutions explore the creation of a common area on the web where individuals could interact without being tracked. Finally, the EDPS recommended “updating the rules on how authorities apply merger controls better to protect online privacy, personal information and freedom of expression”.
For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal