Data protection report

Citizens make greater use of GDPR rights

The CNPD noticed an increase in citizens’ interest in their data protection rights during 2020.  Photo: Shutterstock.

The CNPD noticed an increase in citizens’ interest in their data protection rights during 2020.  Photo: Shutterstock.

The national commission for data protection (CNPD) released its annual report on 19 October. The organisation cited covid-19, the invalidation of the Privacy Shield and Brexit as data protection issues it had to tackle in 2020.

Less complaints and requests, more breaches

According to the report, 379 data breaches--mainly due to human errors--were declared to the CNPD in 2020, compared to 354 in 2019. A total of 485 complaints against data protection rights violations were sent in, 2/3 of the amount filed by individuals the year before. In addition, citizens requested information concerning their rights 655 times, demonstrating that “citizens make greater use of the rights granted by the GDPR,” says the official statement.

Citizens also filed opinions on draft laws or regulations on topics such as the combat of money laundering and terrorist financing, public video surveillance, the creation of the National Security Authority and traffic light radars. The 24 opinions submitted--8 more than in 2019--are sure to be exceeded next year, as the law on CovidCheck has been voted in on Monday 18 October.

The right to erasure--allowing for data to be deleted upon request if there is no compelling reason for it to be stocked--and the right of access to personal data were among the chief subjects touched upon by citizens.

Educating the public

In its report, the CNPD also highlighted its focus on raising awareness about GDPR laws among citizens. It organised workshops, conferences and seminars on various subjects such as cyberprotection, cross-border data transfer and health.

The organisation also worked with institutes, high schools and the ministry of education, children and youth, saying that its participation in collaborations would “remind public research and innovation actors of the important principles of personal data protection.”

Moving forward, the agency expects more challenges to crop up, stating in an official statement: “The CNPD will be able to use the legal means granted to it by law to strike the right balance between the information society and the protection of privacy,” with the aim to promote a data protection culture.