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EU data authority orders Europol to delete personal data

Written by Fri 28 Jan 2022

The European Union is known for having some of the strongest data privacy laws and regulations from around the world. On January 3rd 2022, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) ordered Europol to delete data on people who had no proven link to criminal behaviour. Despite being warned by the EDPS more than 12 months ago that it had to remove this data, Europol failed to take the necessary action to comply with this request.

According to the EDPS, Europol holds large volumes of data with no Data Subject Categorisation, which has the potential to pose a threat to the data privacy rights of individuals. “Datasets older than 6 months that have not undergone this Data Subject Categorisation must be erased. This means that Europol will no longer be permitted to retain data about people who have not been linked to a crime or a criminal activity for long periods with no set deadline,” explains the EDPS in a recent blog post announcing the Europol order.

“The EDPS has granted a 12-month period for Europol to comply with the Decision for the datasets already received before this decision was notified to Europol.” In the 18 years since the EDPS was founded, the authority have admonished many institutions that have been accused of failing to uphold the privacy rights of individuals.

Complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been difficult for some companies, with recent data from law firm DLA Piper finding that European Union authorities have given out more than $1.2 billion in fines for breaching these rules.

Earlier this year, the EDPS sanctioned the European Parliament for a number of issues, including allegedly illegal EU-US data transfers. Examples such as these highlight the importance of putting customer data first for businesses, as well as ensuring that all relevant laws and policies are followed closely.

Written by Fri 28 Jan 2022


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