CEPS Task Force

CEPS Digital Forum Task Force on Online Personal Data Processing

in the Context of the EU Data Protection Reform


Data Protection policies have made a very interesting trajectory in the last years, from being a niche regulatory subject to a mainstream concern for individual and business. Policymakers and stakeholders have now a strong interest in policies and regulation of personal data protection, especially in the context of the EU Data Protection Reform.

Indeed, online data is the new oil of the IT economy, its raw material. New business models that involve personal data can stimulate economic growth, and thereby it is claimed that personal data should flow to the benefit of economic growth. The EU regulatory framework gives effect to the fundamental right to privacy through detailing rights and obligations in data protection and ensures the necessary conditions for personal data to flow. For this reason, privacy policies and regulation became a paramount and urgent concern. The notion of trust is often invoked as an important reason: trust is needed in the specific customer relationship and as a general sentiment. Trust and data protection are two related concerns which can leverage the growth potential of personal and big data in a responsible manner. Those are the reasons why the CEPS Digital Forum decided to launch in this very moment a Task Force on this subject.

The focus and scope of the WG will be limited to the most relevant aspects of the overall picture. We will focus on:

1. Online personal data processing;

2. Substantial aspects; rather than on institutional elements of the current EU framework and reform proposal;

3. The premise of this Task Force is the EU approach to privacy, i.e. the fundamental right approach. This approach will be analysed from a compliance perspective. In other words, we aim at assessing compliance against the touchstone of effective regulation and policies. While starting from legal texts, we will focus on analysing the underlying concepts and effects of privacy norms on consumer behaviours and company practices in the light of the policy objectives.

4. Finally, on the EU Data Protection reform, with the aim to deliver policy recommendations which could contribute to the ongoing debate.

Four meetings are foreseen. Each meeting will be preceded by a short background document provided by the rapporteur where the topics on the table will be shortly presented. Then, each meeting will be structured around presentations and discussions. Different speakers will present their theses: academics, practitioners, company representatives, NGOs and civil society, and EU institutions. Participants to the Task Force are welcome to present their own views. From the institutional side, DG Justice, DG.

Connect, the EPDS, ENISA and the JRC will be involved. Opinions presented to the meeting will not be attributed to the speaker.

Rapporteur: Kristina Irion, Assistant Professor and Research Director at the Center for Media and Communication Studies of the Central European University

1st: 7 November 2012
2nd: 11 December 2012
3rd: 9 January 2013
4th: 8 April 2013

Click here to download the Task Force report: Online Personal Data Processing and EU Data Protection Reform

Task Force Prospectus

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy

+32 (0)2 229 39 17

Kristina Irion