On 18 November 2021, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) adopted a statement on the Digital Services Package proposed by the Commission.
The Digital Services Package refers to a number of legislative proposals aiming at the further use and sharing of data, such as the Data Governance Act, the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act, the Data Act and the European Approach for Artificial Intelligence.
The EDPB emphasizes that the current proposals will negatively impact the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and will lead to legal uncertainty. It refers to the example of the proposal for a European Approach for Artificial Intelligence which would still allow the categorization of individuals based on biometrics according to ethnicity, gender or political or sexual orientation. In addition, the EDPB criticizes the proposals for creating several new supervisory authorities without establishing clear boundaries to their respective competences or for not creating any cooperation mechanisms. Finally, the EDPB raises concerns regarding the consistency of the proposals with the existing data protection regulations, in particular the GDPR. It mentions the lack of clear legal basis for processing personal data in some of the proposals or the ambiguous distinction between personal and non-personal data as examples.
It remains to be seen how the European legislator will address these concerns in the proposals of the Digital Services Package
By Jan Joos, Edouard Cruysmans and Erik Valgaeren