A consortium of four partners from Belgium, the UK, Spain and Poland has initiated a new European project aimed at helping data protection authorities (DPAs) around the world to improve the enforcement of privacy laws.
The two-year research project, called PHAEDRA, started in January 2013 and is co-funded by the European Union under its Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme. PHAEDRA is the acronym for “Improving Practical and Helpful cooperAtion bEtween Data PRotection Authorities”. The four partners include Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), Trilateral Research & Consulting (UK), Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection (GIODO), the Polish data protection authority.
“In the spirit of the ombudsman idea, Member States of the EU have established data protection authorities, who operate de facto privacy help desks that support citizens confronted with privacy and data protection problems, be it spam, identity theft or black lists stored in third countries without data protection. These data protection authorities became a recognisable feature of Europe’s Information Society helping, on a no-cost basis, citizens, companies and state institutions with legal advice or using their administrative and police powers to fight data protection abuses,” says Prof. Paul De Hert, the PHAEDRA project co-ordinator from VUB.