DigitalizationFirst Commission report on the evaluation of the GDPR published

Today, the European Commission published its first report on the assessment and review of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force two years ago. According to the report, the GDPR has achieved most of its goals, mainly due to strong and enforceable rules for citizens and a newly created European system of governance and enforcement.

These are the key insights for consumers:

  • The GDPR strengthens and raises awareness of EU citizens' rights by ensuring transparency and thereby helping individuals to enforce their rights – such as the right to information, rectification, erasure, the right to object and the right to data portability.

  • According to a survey from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 69 percent of Europeans aged above 16 have already heard of the GDPR. Another 71 percent of the total population know about their respective national data protection authority.

  • However, according to the GDPR report, European consumers could be given even better support specifically in exercising their right to data portability.

  • The GDPR‘s data protection regulations are up to date as they enable citizens to have a more active say in what is going to happen to their data in times of digital change.

  • National data protection authorities are practicing their enhanced remedies for violations against data protection law – from warnings and reprimands to administrative fines. Many Member States already provide their national authorities with the adequate staff, technical and financial resources to ensure effective law enforcement.

  • On average, the number of employees in national EU data protection authorities increased by 42 percent between 2016 and 2019 and the budget increased by 49 percent. However, there are still major differences between the Member States.

Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, noted: "The GDPR has successfully met its objectives and has become a reference point across the world for countries that want to grant to their citizens a high level of protection. We can do better though, as today's report shows. For example, we need more uniformity in the application of the rules across the Union: this is important for citizens and for businesses, especially SMEs. We need also to ensure that citizens can make full use of their rights. The Commission will monitor progress, in close cooperation with the European Data Protection Board and in its regular exchanges with Member States, so that the GDPR can deliver its full potential."

Source: EC

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