Final report of the PROFILING project

The final report of the project PROFILING has been finalized and it is freely available for consultation.

The report includes the comparative report on automated profiling in the 28 EU Member States and Switzerland presenting the results of the survey with the National Data Protection Authorities and the three fieldwork studies carried out in Germany, Italy and Romania related to, respectively, police and political activism, border control and e-commerce.

Download the paper: Profiling_final_report_2014

Profiling Project to be presented at the European Parliament on 4 November

Presentation of the European Project “Profiling”: challenges for EU institutions in safeguarding fundamental rights

Brussels, 4 November 2014. The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and its partners, invite you to attend the final event of the PROFILING project “PROtecting citizens’ rights Fighiting ILlicit profilING” funded by the European Commission, within the framework of the FRaC Programme.

One of the biggest challenges posed by the global technological evolution to the right of data protection is the processing of such data in the context of automated profiling: the automated processing of data to develop predictive knowledge in the form of profiles that can subsequently be applied as a basis for decision-making.

The Profiling Project is focused on identifying and tackling the challenges posed by technology to the fundamental right to data protection. The project’s objectives also included the assessment of the level of awareness and measures in place at European level.

In view of the conclusion of the project UNICRI and its partners are now organizing a final conference with Members of the European Parliament and some of the main European stakeholders involved in this field. It will represent an opportunity to discuss the main results and findings of the project and the role of European institutions in safeguarding fundamental rights in the context of automated profiling.

In order to confirm your attendance, please contact Ms. Elise Vermeersch at by 27 October.

Meeting venue: European Parliament, Bât. Altiero Spinelli,  Room 5G 305, 60 Rue Wiertz/Wiertzstraat 60 – Brussels (Belgium)

Meeting schedule: h 18.00 – 20.00

Main Findings from the PROFILING Conference


During the PROFILING Conference, held in Rome on 26 September, the results of the survey conducted in the 28 European Union Member States and Switzerland as well as the results of the fieldworks conducted in Romania, Germany and Italy were presented.

In this section you can download some of the principal materials presented during the Conference:

Final Conference on PROFILING in Rome

Rome, 26 September 2014. A conference entitled “Protecting Citizens’ Rights Fighting Illicit Profiling” will be held in Rome on 26 September 2014. Hosted by the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI), the Conference represents a unique opportunity to present the main findings of the two-year project PROFILING.

The project included a background analysis and risk assessment on profiling and its impact on fundamental rights, and the elaboration and testing of questionnaires with the involvement of the national data protection authorities of the 28 EU Member States and Switzerland, to assess the present European legal framework. Fieldwork was conducted in three selected countries – namely, Romania, Germany and Italy – on the legal aspects related to the evolution of technologies, with a specific focus on data retention and e-commerce.

During the Conference the results of the survey conducted in the 28 European Union Member States and Switzerland as well as the results of the fieldwork conducted in Romania, Germany and Italy will be presented.

Moreover, high-level international experts and representatives of national authorities working on protection of personal data and privacy at European level will present their experiences and debate on possible strategies and good practices to be adopted in the future regarding profiling practices and citizens’ rights.

Download the PROFILING_Agenda_final_meeting_1609

European data protection handbook updated

FRA and the Council of Europe have launched a new edition of their successful practical guide to European data protection law and made it available in four other languages at the European conference of data protection authorities in Strasbourg on 5 June.

The first edition of the handbook proved so popular it was quickly out of print, while the online version got some 17,500 downloads. FRA and the Council of Europe therefore decided to update the content and make it available in more languages. It is now available in English, French, German, Greek and Italian.

Download the second edition of the handbook here: Handbook on Data Protection

Video: First findings of profiling in law enforcement

presented at the re:publica in Berlin, Germany

Profiling technologies have impact on societal norms and practices. A research team at Technische Universität Berlin conducted a case study on the role of profiling technologies in the field of law enforcement and monitoring of political activism.

Now online available:

Profiling Project at #CPDP2014

Francesca Bosco (UNICRI) will present first outcomes of the profiling project’ survey on European national Data Protection Authorities’ experiences with profiling issues and their perspectives on automated profilingat the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection.

Wednesday, January 22 8.45am at Petite Halle:
“Law Enforcement, Profiling and Social Media”.

Moderated by Gary Marx, MIT; Chair: Mathias Vermeulen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE)

Panelists: Alba Bosch, EDPS (EU), Francesca Bosco, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (INT), Ahmed Ghappour, University of Texas at Austin (US), Sadhbh McCarthy, Centre for Irish and European Security (IE)

Panel Description:

The automated collection of large amounts of (personal) data is one of the most important technological challenges to the protection of the right to privacy and the protection of personal data. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are increasingly mining  social networking sites in order to detect unexpected (communication) patterns between users. This panel will address different profiling techniques that are currently being used by these security actors and will examine their impact on the protection of privacy and the protection of personal data.

  • How does profiling using social media work?
  • How are law enforcement agencies using social media to profile people?
  • What is the legal framework, and what are the challenges to this framework, posed by social media profiling?
  • How do data protection authorities assess the challenges of social media profiling?

Checklist for studying the risks of profiling

In this section you can download the following deliverable of the PROFILING project: “Checklist for studying risks and regulations of profiling”.

This document can be a useful tool for all the stakeholders, policy makers, governments, EC officers when approaching the issue of profiling.

A series of issues, from the general context to more specific ones such as the risks & benefits and solutions & remedies are outlined.

It is intended to list the main issues and features, with a neutral approach, in order to set a sort of research agenda which can be used to further deepen the research and foster the knowledge and the awareness on the topic of automated profiling

Check list for studying risks&regulations of profiling

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