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Privacy and Data Protection for Engineers: the PDP4E project translates GDPR into engineering terms

GDPR, the EU General Data Protection Regulation Law, involves each and every digital field but not all sectors are provided with tools and services to help in the challenge of compliance. Legal specifications are not always easy to understand and usually GDPR-compliance tools target either lawyers or managers while the practical application of state-of-the-art Privacy Enhancing Technologies remains inscrutable for non-privacy-experts.

Addressing the sector of engineering, the PDP4E project is an EU funded Innovation Action that aims to make GDPR understandable and easy to apply for mainstream engineers.

Its acronym stands for Methods and Tools for GDPR Compliance through Privacy and Data Protection Engineering or - in short - Privacy and Data Protection for Engineers. With a duration of 33 months, the project started last year, on the 1st of May 2018.

The project provides GDPR-compliance methods and tools integrated within the large heritage of software and systems engineering: traditional disciplines of the Systems Development Life Cycle (risks management, requirements engineering, model-driven design, and systems assurance) and existent software engineering tools (e.g. MUSA, Papyrus, Frama-C and OpenCert) with additional features for privacy and data protection engineering.

Efficient compliance with the GDPR requires a deep collaboration between engineering and legal teams. PDP4E offers a toolset integrated with engineering processes, such as requirements elicitation and model-driven design, in such a way that legal teams can have a better understanding of the system while minimizing engineering overhead. Engineering communities suffer from the overhead introduced by the legal, ambiguous terms used by data protection regulations. In that matter, PDP4E aims at transforming risk and compliance management into a collaboration hub where both legal and engineering departments feel comfortable with the technical outcomes and the underlying methodology.

PDP4E is in favor of open innovation and delivering core innovations through open source communities such as the Eclipse Foundation. Their objective is that future projects on the “Inclusive and Secure Society” cluster (especially those in the “Protection and Security” and “Cybersecurity” innovation areas) have open source solutions on the privacy engineering arena than can be reused and extended on a business-friendly ecosystem. It is expected that the knowledge generated on protecting citizens’ privacy on our automotive and smart energy pilots will be extended to other critical sectors, such as healthcare and IoT, during Horizon Europe missions.

More information about the PDP4E Project is available on their website: https://www.pdp4e-project.eu/

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