Frequently Asked Questions

The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation creates a harmonised set of rules applicable to all personal data processing by organisations (public or private, regardless of their size)  established in the European Economic Area (EEA) or targeting individuals in the EU. The primary objective of GDPR is to ensure that personal data enjoys the same high standard of protection everywhere in the EEA, increasing legal certainty for both individuals and organisations processing data, and offering a high degree of protection for individuals.

The regulation entered into force on 24 May 2016 and applies since 25 May 2018.

We are constantly working on the translation of our documents into the official EU languages.
All static content, as well as press releases and documents officially adopted by the Board, such as Guidelines, will be made available in these languages.

This process takes time and various steps need to be completed in order to provide translations of the best quality.

Please note that documents undergoing public consultation are usually not translated. It is only after the public consultation has been concluded and a final version of the document has been adopted by the Board that these documents will be translated.

As addressees of the EDPB decisions, the relevant Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) that wish to challenge these decisions can bring an action for annulment before the European Court of Justice (CJEU) within two months of being notified.

No. The EDPB does not handle complaints or conduct investigations. If you believe your data protection rights have been violated you can contact the organisation holding your data, contact your national data protection authority (DPA), or go to a national court.

DPAs can conduct investigations and impose sanctions where necessary. Find the contact details for all EEA DPAs 

The GDPR puts in place clear procedures in case of a data breach. If a data breach poses a risk, companies and organisations holding your data have to inform the relevant data protection authority within 72 hours or without undue further delay. If the leak poses a high risk to you, then you must also be informed personally.

For more information on data breaches, please consult the EDPB Data Protection Guide for small business.

Every organisation, regardless of the their size or sector, established in the European Economic Area (EEA) or offering products or services to individuals in the EEA, processing personal data whether or not by automated means needs to comply with the GDPR. The GDPR applies to the automated processing of personal data and to processing operations carried out manually from the moment the paper files are organised in a systematic manner, e.g. ordered alphabetically in a filing cabinet.

Examples of processing operations include collecting, recording, organising, using, modifying, storing, disclosing, altering and erasing individuals’ personal data.

Nevertheless, the application of the GDPR is modulated according to the nature, context, purposes and risks of the processing operations carried out. For SMEs whose core business is not the processing of personal data, the obligations can be less strict than for a large company.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is a Member of the European Data Protection Board. In addition, the EDPS provides the EDPB Secretariat. The Secretariat offers administrative and logistic support to the EDPB, performs analytical work and contributes to the EDPB’s tasks.

Although staff at the Secretariat is employed by the EDPS, staff members only work under the instructions of the Chair of the EDPB.

The terms of cooperation between the EDPB and the EDPS are established by the Memorandum of Understanding.

Controllers should formally submit their EU-wide certification criteria to:

  1. the competent data protection authority (DPA) in the EEA country where the scheme owners have their headquarters;
  2. the competent data protection authority (DPA) in the EEA country where a certification body operating the certification mechanism have their headquarters, considering the member state in which the most certificates are likely to be issued.

The EDPB regularly publishes press releases, news items, blogs and other content on the EDPB website and its social media channels (Twitter: @EU_EDPB; Linkedin: European Data Protection Board) to keep the data protection community and the general public up-to-date with its work.

The EDPB website also has two RSS feeds, which you can subscribe to for automatic updates on EDPB news and the EDPB’s latest publications.

The EDPB brings together the EU DPAs and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). The EEA EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are also members with regard to GDPR-related matters and without the rights to vote and to be elected as chair or deputy chair. The European Commission and - with regard to GDPR-related matters - the EFTA Surveillance Authority have the right to participate in the activities and meetings of the Board without voting rights.

You can find an overview of the EEA DPAs here.