Alexa, are you ready to support police investigations?

26 September 2019
News Article
Press Release/News

The third edition of the EDEN Conference on Data Protection in Law Enforcement kicked off on 19 September in Copenhagen. The two-day event, Paradise lost? Policing in the age of data protection was organised by the Danish National Police (Dansk Politi), the Europol Data Protection Experts Network (EDEN) and the Academy of European Law (ERA).

This year’s EDEN conference brought together more than 140 attendees and 25 speakers. The conference explored the practical implementation of EU data protection rules within the law enforcement sector and highlighted the challenges that data protection experts face in developments in policing, society as a whole and a rapidly changing criminal environment. 

Participants included Europol, the European Commission, the Danish National Police and internationally renowned practitioners from law enforcement and security authorities with privacy experts, academics and representatives from private industry and civil society.

The conference covered topics, which are of exceptional relevance to data protection and law enforcement.

Predictive policing

Prediction is a core part of policing. Where should law enforcement resources be deployed to deter future crime? Who are the potential victims? The panel elaborated the shades of prediction in policing and the policy and technical methods that can help to respect fundamental rights.

Data retention in the hands of the EU

Reflecting on the state of play, the way forward and how criminal investigations in Germany have been affected when access to communications data by the police has been severely restricted. The panel ended with a fruitful discussion from creating a patchwork of different national practices, hindering the transnational prevention and investigations of serious crime and terrorism, to a state of play where EU citizens cannot rely on their fundamental rights being equally protected in all EU member states.

Your email address on the dark web

The panel debated on real-life examples of the use of open sources in digital investigations, the definition of public information and the application of different data protection legislation. One panellist emphasised the technical obstacles of using open source information and working with large data sets in the law enforcement sphere.

Data protection by design

Is PNR building a mass surveillance system? Opponents claim that it is a mass surveillance of mostly innocent citizens violates the fundamental right to privacy. This panel evaluated EU data protection principles, i.e. data protection by design and default to avoid designing a mass surveillance system.

Globalisation of criminal evidence

The panel explored the impact of 5G technology for law enforcement in fighting serious crime and terrorism and its impact on fundamental rights. The panellists discussed which authorities should be authorised to access data on smart devices and potential types of crimes related to smart devices.

The third edition of the EDEN Conference was a great success and represented speakers from different sectors all over the world. Europol’s Data Protection Function launched the new EDEN DPO (Data Protection Officer) Group and hosted a workshop on the practical implementation of the law enforcement directive to enhance the network of law enforcement DPOs of European Member States.