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Decision of the European Ombudsman in the above case on the European Parliament’s refusal to grant public access to the ‘data protection impact assessment’ related to an online campaign developed in the context of the 2019 European elections

Dear Mr X,

You submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the European Parliament concerning the above issue.

After a careful analysis of all the information submitted, I have decided to close my inquiry[1] with the following finding:

There are no further inquiries justified.

My inquiry team inspected the documents to which you are seeking access. On this basis, I shared the preliminary view with Parliament that the documents should be disclosed, if not in their entirety then at least in part.

Parliament has now replied. It has clarified that the European Data Protection Supervisor’s inspection, which focused - among other things - on the measures adopted by Parliament to address the risks identified in the DPIA, was ongoing when Parliament adopted its decision on your confirmatory application. As such, the EDPS had not yet presented the conclusions of its investigation, including validating the measures taken to stop personal data from being processed by third parties. Parliament thus insists that its decision not to disclose the documents at the time was correct as to do so risked undermining the purpose of the ongoing inspection, which was to protect personal data.

In this context, I suggest that you make a new request for public access to Parliament. You can of course submit a complaint to my Office if your request is denied.

Please find enclosed copies of the letters exchanged with Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

 

Emily O'Reilly
European Ombudsman

Strasbourg, 19/10/2020

 

[1] Full information on the procedure and rights pertaining to complaints can be found at: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/document/70707.