As the dust begins to settle on the Snowden revelations, public awareness has undoubtedly been focussed on the extent of intelligence surveillance carried out in the name of national security. Our engagement with data presents challenges for citizens, industry and policymakers alike. It is perhaps timely, therefore, to revisit the balance currently struck by the data protection regime in facilitating digital innovation while protecting the privacy rights of individuals. Indeed there has been relatively little change in law and policy since the Snowden leaks in mid-2013.
Of particular interest is the evolving concept of national security, no longer being synonymous with geographic borders, and its impact on the rights and obligations of individuals and organisations as well as the future development of that concept in the digital sphere.
These are the questions that the Article 29 Working Party on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data (the “WP29”) is beginning to ask in a series of documents it has authored over the past year.