The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has awarded a contract worth 52,000 euros to equip 44 workstations in its offices. It supposes the purchase of laptops, mice, keyboards and monitors to replace the material that had become obsolete in a key department for the digitization of the country.
In the tender documents, the Agency itself specified that laptops were being sought because a large part of the entity’s staff have the possibility of teleworking. However, updating the equipment of these 44 posts in their offices It does not necessarily imply an increase in your workforce.
The AEPD staff has grown by 6.4% since 2020, the year of the pandemic. The data transpires after reviewing the Job Position Relations (RPT) of this public body since 2020, when it had 203 posts: the director, 196 employees, 4 employees with a single agreement and 2 employees without an agreement.
3 years later the RPT of the AEPD is 216 stalls: the director, 207 officials, 8 laborers with a single agreement and 2 without an agreement.
The growth in personnel has been higher according to another indicator, the annual reports of the General Comptroller of the State Administration (IGAE) of Personnel at the service of the State Public Sector. According to the corresponding to 2021, the AEPD added 171 workers, representing a growth of 10.3% compared to the same report but from 2019, when it counted 155.
The budget grows 31% since the entry into force of the GDPR
If between 2020 and 2023 the staff of the AEPD has grown by 6.4%, its budget has done so by 31.7%from 14.2 million in 2020 —a figure that was repeated since 2018 due to the extension of the General State Budget— to 18.7 million approved for this year.
It should be said that the executed in 2020 was 35 million for transfers due to the coronavirus and it is unlikely that this figure will be replicated in 2023.
As to resolutions attendedgrowth has been 14.09% between 2018 and 2021the latest data available according to the annual report of the public entity.
2018 is a key year for the Spanish Data Protection Agency. In that course, the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) came into force, although its effects on the agency’s resolutions did not begin to be noticed until a couple of years later, since many open cases were still related to previous legislation. .
An example of this change introduced by the GDPR is to see how the AEPD went from sanctioning 3 million euros in 2020 to raising up to 32 million euros in fines the following year, in 2021.
This Agency is crucial for digitization in Spain since it is one of the spearheads that Europe has against the large multinational technology companies. In other member countries, these data protection agencies will also ensure compliance with other future regulations, that of artificial intelligence.
In Spain, however, it has been decided to create an AI Supervision Agency (AESIA), independent of the AEPD, which will eventually be installed in Galicia.
Brussels, at the request of the European Ombudsman, announced a few days ago that from now on it will monitor national data protection agencies collecting information from them every 6 monthsfollowing multiple complaints about the actions of the Irish Data Protection Commission.
Precisely an organization in defense of civil rights in Ireland denounced how the European data protection agencies had been stagnant in budget. With the leap that the AEPD has made in its accounts in recent years, the AEPD continues to be one of the organizations that proposes the most sanctions and deals with the most claims in the Union.
In January 2023, the AEPD announced the update of the Autocontrol code of conduct: since then, claims for receiving unwanted advertising will be expedited since will be referred to a supposed “advertising jury” that will act as a mediator between the claimants —citizens— and the big companies. An idea that has not convinced many.
Around 4 years under the blockade
This legislature, the PSOE and the PP reached an agreement in principle with the names of those who would occupy the new presidency and vice-presidency of the AEPD, new positions under the statutes of the entity approved and published in the Official State Gazette in 2021.
However, precisely this political agreement caused a controversy that reached the Supreme Court and ended up blocking the procedure that was followed. At one point in the process, it was the responsibility of the Council of Ministers to determine which names were suitable to be president and which names were suitable to be vice president.
Instead, and in the face of criticism from various candidates in the process, the Government chose to choose 3 names and not 1 by position and send the 3 names to the Congress of Deputies, so that the appointment could be approved by the Commission.
The Supreme annulled the process, and the Government still He has shown no intention of retaking it. The bridges with the opposition leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, have been blown up, after the controversies surrounding an attempt at a legal change to force the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary at the end of last year.
If everything continues the same, the current general director of the AEPD, Mar España, who was to be succeeded by the new president of the organization, will celebrate her fourth year at the head of the Agency on July 25, 2023 despite have the mandate expired.