The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now been in effect for 4 years. It no longer carries its original bewitching buzz, but has maintained its reputation as a golden standard for privacy rights and data protection in the digital era. However, like any other just laws, GDPR’s effective enforcement is the only way in which it can be transformed from dreamy ideals into an essential tool for justice and the protection of human rights.
Many organisations, including EDRI, NOYB, and Access Now, have revealed a growing trend of data protection authorities not responding promptly and sufficiently to complaints made by and on behalf of data subjects against Big Tech. This lack of effective enforcement is compounded when national data protection authorities are supposed to coordinate and work together on complaints that are not confined just to one EU country, but have a multinational nature.
In a world where many technology giants have stronger market capitalisation than most countries’ gross domestic product (GDP), inaction by data protection authorities is inadvertently facilitating the continuation of oppressive practices. As Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu once remarked,
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Access to Justice in Data Protection Workshop
At the Digital Freedom Fund, we wish to provide a space for the EU digital rights communities to jointly map out GDPR implementation issues and come up with a collective strategy for combatting access to justice issues within the data protection space.
To this effect, we invite prospective participants to apply for our two-day Access to Justice in Data Protection Workshop which shall be held on the 7th& 8th of December 2022 in Dublin, Ireland.
We especially encourage participants from organisations within the European Union who are working on data protection issues to apply to take part in this workshop. DFF shall cover accommodation and transportation costs for all participants.
If you are interested in applying, please do so by completing this application form by no later than 17h00 CET on 11 November 2022. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as spaces are limited. All organisations that are working on data protection issues within the European Union are encouraged to apply. Should you have any questions or wish to complete an offline version of the application form, then please email us at email@example.com with “Access to Justice in Data Protection Workshop” in the subject line.
For more information on this topic, check out our earlier blog post entitled Dealing with Data Protection Authority Inertia.
 Access Now (2022) Four Years under the EU GDPR How to Fix Its Enforcement.
Nikita Kekana is the Senior Legal Officer at the Digital Freedom Fund. Nikita has extensive experience in digital and media law, international law, and human rights.
Illustration by Cynthia Alonso. Graphic Design by Justina Leston.