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The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman's Annual Report 2018: case numbers multiplied by 2.5, awareness of data protection rights growing

Publication date 17.5.2019 9.38 | Published in English on 28.5.2019 at 17.00
Press release

The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman has published its Annual Report for the year 2018. In addition to the Office’s key figures, it describes the change in the work of the Office brought about by the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. The year was characterised by a sharp increase in the Office's workload.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had a far-reaching impact on the work of the office. ”The year 2018 launched a new era, in which questions of data protection have greater importance and people are more aware of their data protection rights”, says Data Protection Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio in his look back at the year.

One effect of the GDPR was the increased workload of the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. As an example, 2.5 times as many cases were instituted by the Office in 2018 than in the previous year. Even though the number of resolved cases doubled, the backlog lengthened as well.

The key figures presented in the Annual Report describe the expansion of the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman's remit with the adoption of the GDPR. Examples of these new duties include the processing of personal data breaches and work involving Data Protection Officers, which accounted for a high number of cases: more than 2,200 personal data breaches were reported, and the Office received over 1,200 notifications of new Data Protection Officers. In addition to the above, the work of the new European Data Protection Board and its subcommittees provides the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman with a new opportunity to influence the views and statements of the entire European Union in matters of data protection.

The Annual Report also presents a number of significant decisions taken in 2018, along with statements on the new bill for a bank and payment account oversight system and report on a positive credit information file. The Data Protection Ombudsman also listed the most important trends and developments of 2019 with regard to data protection.

The Annual Report has been published in Finnish as a PDF file, with the key content also available on the website of the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman at Summaries of the Annual Report have been published in Swedish and English.

Further information:

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

Annual Report of the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman 2018 (PDF in Finnish)

Annual Report in Swedish (PDF)

English summary (PDF)

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