Regulator: The European Data Protection Supervisor ('EDPS') is the European Union's (EU) data protection authority and monitors privacy within EU institutions and bodies. The European Data Protection Board ('EDPB') is an independent European body composed of representatives of the national data protection authorities and the EDPS.
Summary: The GDPR was approved on 24 May 2016 and became applicable in the EU Member States from 25 May 2018. It has since inspired several other privacy laws around the world. The GDPR lays down rules relating to the processing of personal data aimed at protecting natural persons, as well as provisions on the free movement of personal data. The GDPR, although a European regulation has a broad scope of application that imposes direct statutory obligations on data processors and can affect controllers established outside the EU.
The EU has also established further pieces of legislation with substantive importance within the Digital Single Market. In particular, the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications (2002/58/EC) (as amended) ('the ePrivacy Directive') regulates the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, with specific reference to, among other things, the regulation of unsolicited communications and cookies and similar technologies. Furthermore, the Directive on Security Network and Information Systems (Directive (EU) 2016/1148) ('the NIS Directive') establishes measures in order to achieve a high network and information systems security level within the EU. Importantly, the Directive on Measures for a High Common Level of Cybersecurity across the Union (Directive (EU) 2022/2555) ('NIS 2 Directive'), was published on 27 December 2022, and will repeal the NIS Directive as of 18 October 2024.