«…Privacy is a fundamental right, which needs to be protected.
…all data concerning the disability of a person are considered sensitive data and will be awarded the highest level of protection».
Privacy, dignity, equality, and non-discrimination are fundamental values upon which the European Union was founded. They are firmly embedded in the Treaties of the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and secondary legislation. Combatting discrimination in the labour market and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities are core obligations of the European Union. Not many are aware that more than 15 per cent of the total potential workforce of the European Union has some form of disability – of which over 50 per cent are unemployed. This is all the more reason for the EU to maintain its ommitment to include these indivuduals in the labour force and to guarantee their fair treatment and protection of their particularly sensitive data. It is precisely in this light that The Crossroads: Privacy, Disability and Employment must be seen: a sort of driving manual for disability organizations. It will be important to collect, process and handle personal data and to embrace new technologies without compromising privacy in the process. This manual also provides the various stakeholders with relevant articles of the GDPR and other legislative texts to equip them with sufficient knowledge and useful tools to ensure and to successfully navigate the crossroads between privacy and employment for persons with disabilities.
Enrique Opi Tufet is an “actibilist”, a term he coined some time ago to describe an activist on disability issues. He has an LL.M. in International Law from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and he is a certified Data Protection Officer (DPO) by Maastricht University. Currently, Enrique acts as a Regional Director of Inserta/Fundación ONCE in Spain, an employment and disability program funded by the European Social Fund. He himself has a visual disability and is therefore intimately familiar with the challenges persons with disabilities face. Before Inserta, Enrique was the Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of Epson Europe. Previously, he led the Brussels operations of two major worldwide public relations agencies. He has written a number of articles and contributions addressing environmental policy, sustainability and communications. Enrique lives in Barcelona with his wife and son.