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Belgian Data Protection Authority includes biometric security in strategic plan

Belgian Data Protection Authority includes biometric security in strategic plan

Fearing online privacy is at risk, the Data Protection Authority in Belgium wants to bring cultural change and turn privacy into a “reflex,” according to a draft plan it released, covering priorities organizations and citizens should be focused on throughout 2019-2025 to ensure data and privacy protection.

The strategy is under public consultation until Jan. 7, 2020, with a final version to be published after this date.

The General Secretariat, the Knowledge Center, the Front-Line Service, the Inspection Service and the Litigation Chamber are the departments working together to properly implement the strategy.

The top five sectors it focuses on are telecommunications and media sector, public authorities, direct marketing, education and SMEs. The Data Protection Authority wants to guide, advise and educate private and public actors, interpret the law, monitor and control and impose sanctions.

Based on EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, priorities will focus on the role of the data protection officer (DPO), data processing legitimacy and abusive practices around personal data processing, citizens’ rights of access, opposition and rectification, among others, societal matters such as pictures and cameras, cookies, online data protection and sensitive data such as biometrics and health information.

The institution claims it will not focus on sanctions but it is more interested in awareness and recommendations to best protect citizens.

Once GDPR came into effect on May 25, 2018, the former Privacy Commission became the Data Protection Authority. Since the organizational change, information requests went up by 21 percent, complaints and requests by nearly 68 percent, requests for advice by 113 percent and notifications of data breaches by 3,527 percent.

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