The national data protection authority is an independent public authority responsible for monitoring the application of data protection law within its territory. Each national authority should be endowed with:
- investigative powers, such as powers of access to data forming the subject-matter of processing operations and powers to collect all the information necessary for the performance of its supervisory duties;
- effective powers of intervention, such as, for example, that of delivering opinions before processing operations are carried out and ensuring appropriate publication of such opinions, of ordering the blocking, erasure or destruction of data, of imposing a temporary or definitive ban on processing, of warning or admonishing the controller, or that of referring the matter to national parliaments or other political institutions;
- the power to engage in legal proceedings where the national provisions have been violated or to bring these violations to the attention of the judicial authorities;
- jurisdiction to hear claims lodged by any person, or by an association representing that person, concerning the protection of his rights and freedoms with regard to the processing of personal data.