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Madrid axes its Data Protection agency

By Simon Davies

The Madrid regional Government has announced the elimination of the Madrid Data Protection Agency. The agency will cease operation, in all probability, by the end of the year through an Act adopted by the Regional Parliament.

The move, – made almost twenty years to the day since the Agency was formed –  will create a huge setback for privacy protection in Spain.

The move – made almost twenty years to the day since the Agency was formed – will create a huge setback for privacy protection in Spain. The Madrid agency  (Agencia de Protección de Datos de la Comunidad de Madrid – APDCM) has worked very closely with the public sector to ensure data protection compliance and is recognised as a crucial source of advice for government.

The Madrid government has been reducing the public sector since 2008 and has already eliminated 83 advisory bodies, trusts and foundations. These measures are claimed to have save more than 1,100 million euros.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency will take over the Madrid DPA responsibilities but, given the national agency’s workload and competences (all private and public sector) it is unlikely to achieve the same outcome as the APDCM.

DPAs across Europe are experiencing increased budgetary pressure. The independence of some is being compromised while workload is constantly escalating. The Spanish decision can only set a dangerous precedent for other nations with regional regulators

I am sure all data protection professionals and citizens will join me in expressing our thanks to the APDCM for the excellent advocacy it has undertaken over the years.