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European Data Protection Board - Eighth Plenary session: Interplay ePrivacy Directive and GDPR, statement on ePrivacy Regulation, DPIA Lists, Statement on Elections

15.3.2019 13.29 | Published in English on 15.3.2019 at 13.44
Press release

On March 12th and 13th, the EEA Data Protection Authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor, assembled in the European Data Protection Board, met for their eighth plenary session. During the plenary a wide range of topics were discussed.

Interplay ePrivacy Directive and GDPR

The EDPB adopted its opinion on the interplay between the ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation. The opinion seeks to provide an answer to the question whether the fact that the processing of personal data triggers the material scope of both the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive, limits the competences, tasks and powers of data protection authorities under the GDPR. The EDPB opines that data protection authorities are competent to enforce the GDPR. The mere fact that a subset of the processing falls within the scope of the ePrivacy directive, does not limit the competence of data protection authorities under the GDPR.

An infringement of the GDPR may at the same time constitute an infringement of national ePrivacy rules. SAs may take this into consideration when applying the GDPR (e.g. when assessing compliance with the lawfulness or fairness principles).  

Statement on the future ePrivacy Regulation

The EDPB adopted a statement calling upon EU legislators to intensify efforts towards the adoption of the ePrivacy Regulation, which is essential to complete the EU's framework for data protection and the confidentiality of electronic communications.

The future ePrivacy Regulation should under no circumstance lower the level of protection offered by the current ePrivacy Directive and should complement the GDPR by providing additional strong guarantees for all types of electronic communications.

DPIA Lists

The EDPB adopted two opinions on the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) lists submitted to the Board by Spain and Iceland. These lists form an important tool for the consistent application of the GDPR across the EEA. DPIA is a process to help identify and mitigate data protection risks that could affect the rights and freedoms of individuals. While in general the data controller needs to assess if a DPIA is required before engaging in the processing activity, national supervisory authorities shall establish and make a list of the kind of processing operations which are subject to the requirement for a data protection impact assessment. These two opinions follow the 28 opinions adopted during previous plenary meetings, and will further contribute to establishing common criteria for DPIA lists across the EEA.

Statement on the use of personal data in the course of political campaigns

In light of the upcoming European elections and other elections taking place across the EU and beyond in 2019, the EDPB has adopted a statement on the use of personal data during election campaigns. Data processing techniques for political purposes can pose serious risks, not just with regard to the rights to privacy and data protection, but also to the integrity of the democratic process. In its statement, the EDPB highlights a number of key points which need to be taken into consideration when political parties process personal data in the course of electoral activities.

Additional information:
Data Protection Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio, tel. +358 40 520 7068, reijo.aarnio(at)

Opinion 5/2019 on the interplay between the ePrivacy Directive and the GDPR, in particular regarding the competence, tasks and powers of data protection authorities (pdf)

Statement 3/2019 on an ePrivacy regulation (pdf)

Statement 2/2019 on the use of personal data in the course of political campaigns (pdf)

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