The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) released a report on the European Union's data protection strategy for the next four years, regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other issues. The report lays out the EDPS' three strategic pillars – foresight, action and solidarity – to deal with Europe’s digital problems ahead.
As head of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the EDPS is “committed” to strengthening “the cooperation of DPAs for high-profile enforcement cases” even as the COVID-19 crisis is testing data protection “in an unprecedented manner.” The data protection community, the report notes, will need to balance "public health" with data privacy.
“The next 5 years could prove to be a global turning point for privacy and personal data protection. Most of the world will have a general data protection law, including the largest countries currently without one – India, Indonesia and, quite possibly, the United States. Most policy interventions addressing social, environmental and public health issues, will involve technology and data usage. Data protection will become relevant in almost every context. The Covid-19 crisis, which, initially, seemed to be a danger to such an evolution, has, instead, strengthened the call for the protection of individuals’ privacy. This is especially the case when governments take measures to defend society and the economy against such an extraordinary threat.”
The report notes, with a wink and a nod, that the EDPS does “not support the creation of artificial geographical borders,” but that it just prefers “data being processed by entities sharing European values, including privacy and data protection.”