On November 25, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued new data protection guidelines (Guidelines) to European Union policymakers and legislators in the area of financial services regulation. The EDPS’s stated aim of the Guidelines is to ensure that EU institutions are aware of data protection requirements and that they integrate high standards of data protection in all new legislation. The Guidelines are part of a “policy toolkit” for EU institutions which the EDPS is developing to facilitate policymaking which respects the fundamental rights and freedoms of EU citizens and their rights to privacy and to the protection of “personal data” (meaning any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural (living) person; examples include names, dates of birth, photographs, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, as well as other details such as health data, data used for evaluation purposes and traffic data on the use of telephone, email or Internet are also considered personal data). The Guidelines are intended as a practical, step-by-step companion to EU policymakers and provide a useful summary and detailed analysis of the rights of EU citizens under EU law in the financial services context. The EDPS will issue further guidelines for other sectors in the coming months.

Although the Guidelines have been prepared for EU policymakers, they are useful for other participants in the EU financial services markets (particularly EU firms who have been designated under EU law as “data processors”) as they assess the distinctions between data protection and privacy (distinct rights under EU law, in both their nature and operation). They also provide 10 recommended steps for the responsible handling of personal information and assess the interaction of data protection rules with other EU financial services legislation in areas such as the EU Market Abuse Regulation, insider dealing insider lists, data retention requirements and whistleblowing. 

The Guidelines are available here.  

The EDPS press release is available here.