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On Tuesday 18 May 2021, the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) published its forty-first annual report against the backdrop of the covid-19 crisis. In addition to the essential key figures, this report looks back at a "year 2020 [which] will have changed the relationship we have with personal data", as Marie-Laure Denis, President of the CNIL, rightly points out.


The health crisis has had the following effects:

  • to place the protection of personal freedoms and data at the heart of public debate;
  • to mark a turning point on cookies and digital trackers with strengthened guidelines for the protection of Internet users;
  • to draw attention to the transfer of data to the United States with the invalidation of the Privacy Shield, thus questioning digital sovereignty;
  • foster better data diplomacy, in particular with the first use of the EDPS dispute resolution mechanism and the management of data protection in the face of Brexit.

As Louis Dutheillet de Lamothe, Secretary General of the CNIL, sums up, "the effectiveness of people's rights will remain the compass of the CNIL's action".

This is why in 2021, even more than in 2020, DATA RING will continue to work for the defence of fundamental public liberties and digital cultures, as demonstrated by the launch of the first edition of the "Data Prize by Data Ring".