Billions of pages of printed text: Europol ordered to delete petabytes of personal data

Billions of printed pages: Europol ordered to delete petabytes of personal data

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The EU Department Police Chief has been ordered to delete huge amounts of personal data obtained over the past six years. The order came from the European Data Protection Authority (EDPS), which deals with data protection in much of Europe.

The EDPS gave Europol one year to inspect its databases and

delete information unrelated to criminal investigations … The total amount of this information stored in Europol’s databases is estimated at around four petabytes, which is equivalent to hundreds of billions of pages of printed text.

Why this data should be deleted

The databases contain information on at least 250,000 suspects of terrorist activities and serious crimes, as well as information on other persons associated with the suspects. Data obtained from various law enforcement agencies in the EU.

In the text of the order, the EDPS mentions an investigation related to the data storage order, which started in 2019. It is alleged that the personal data were most often stored and processed without sufficient reason , after what EU residents have been wrongly associated with criminal activity.

Although some measures have been streamlined by Europol since then, the agency has failed to comply with EDPS requirements regarding the definition of an acceptable data retention period for filtering and highlighting authorized personal information. analysis purposes under Europol rules,
– read the EDPS press release.

As a result, the EDPS started to more actively protect the rights of residents, give the police department a year to sort through existing data in order to determine which of them can legally store, and ordering to delete newly collected unclassified data within six months.

What information should Europol delete

According to European experts, Europol’s database consists at least in part of information on people who are not “suspects”, “potential future criminals”, “persons in contact with or associated with criminals. “,” Victims “,” witnesses “. or “informants”. are stereotyped as “suspect” or “dangerous”. Most EU citizens are in favor of protecting their digital rights.

Interesting! There are also opposing views. Several representatives of the EU apparatus believe that law enforcement authorities need tools, resources and time to analyze legally obtained data, and the Europol platform supports national police services that are not in charge. able to independently process such huge amounts of data.

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