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My Email Communications Security Assessment (MECSA)


This privacy statement provides information about the processing and the protection of your personal data.

Processing operation: My Email Communications Security Assessment

Data Controller: JRC.T.2

Record reference: DPR-EC-00810

1. Introduction

The European Commission (hereafter 'the Commission') is committed to protect your personal data and to respect your privacy. The Commission collects and further processes personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data (repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001).

This privacy statement explains the reason for the processing of your personal data, the way we collect, handle and ensure protection of all personal data provided, how that information is used and what rights you have in relation to your personal data. It also specifies the contact details of the responsible Data Controller with whom you may exercise your rights, the Data Protection Officer and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The information in relation to processing operation 'My Email Communications Security Assessment' (MECSA) undertaken by JRC.T.2 is presented below.

2. Why and how do we process your personal data?

Purpose of the processing operation: JRC.T.2 collects and uses your personal information to assess the security of email communication between providers.

'My Email Communications Security Assessment' (MECSA) is an online tool developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). MECSA is a publicly available service designed to allow email users to evaluate the technical capacity of their provider to protect the delivery and reception of emails over the Internet. The results of the evaluation performed are provided in the form of a comprehensive report that includes a set of indicative security scores and technical details of the findings.

The data are collected for a research project aimed to study the evolution in the level of adoption of security standards for the protection of communications between email providers.

Your personal data will not be used for an automated decision-making including profiling.

3. On what legal ground(s) do we process your personal data?

We process your personal data, because, according to Article (5)(1)(d) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, you have given your consent to the processing of your personal data for one or more specific purposes.

We do not process special categories of personal data, therefore Article 10 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 does not apply.

4. Which personal data do we collect and further process?

In order to carry out this processing operation JRC.T.2 collects the following categories of personal data:

User email information: email address (provided by the user, required to use the service), email message (reply sent by the user, who is requested to reply with an empty message).

Security data: traffic logs.

Results of the evaluations: technical information on the email providers analysed included in the security reports generated (e.g. domain name, DNS records, etc.)

The provision of personal data is not mandatory.

5. How long do we keep your personal data?

JRC.T.2 only keeps your personal data for the time necessary to fulfil the purpose of collection or further processing, namely:

Your email information: Your email addresses and reply emails are immediately removed from the database after the analysis has been carried out.

Typically this process takes place in less than 5 minutes. In exceptional cases (for example in case the user never replies to the email that is sent to him/her) the email address will remain in the database until it is deleted by the automatic safeguard after a maximum of 24 hours.

Security data: Stored for a maximum of 6 months. In context of investigations of security incidents the data could be further processed following record DPR-EC-02886 on DIGIT IT security operations and services, where a different retention period applies.

Results of the evaluations (containing personal data): Data are kept until data subject requests to erase them. The results of the evaluation are not expected to contain personal data (e.g. domain names, DNS records, etc.). Data subjects can contact the data controller ( to request the erasure of any personal data that might have been collected.

6. How do we protect and safeguard your personal data?

All personal data in electronic format (e-mails, documents, databases, uploaded batches of data, etc.) are stored on the servers of the European Commission. All processing operations are carried out pursuant to the Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission.

In order to protect your personal data, the Commission has put in place a number of technical and organisational measures in place. Technical measures include appropriate actions to address online security, risk of data loss, alteration of data or unauthorised access, taking into consideration the risk presented by the processing and the nature of the personal data being processed. Organisational measures include restricting access to the personal data solely to authorised persons with a legitimate need to know for the purposes of this processing operation.

7. Who has access to your personal data and to whom is it disclosed?

Personal data would be accessed only by JRC staff from the Cyber and Digital Citizens' Security Unit involved in the research (the Data Controller as well as the researchers involved for this deliverable) in a controlled environment. In context of investigations of security incidents the data could be transferred and further processed following record DPR-EC-02886 on DIGIT IT security operations and services.

Access is provided according to the 'need to know' principle.

The information we collect will not be given to any third party, except to the extent and for the purpose we may be required to do so by law.

8. What are your rights and how can you exercise them?

You have specific rights as a 'data subject' under Chapter III (Articles 14-25) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, in particular the right to access, rectify or erase your personal data and the right to restrict the processing of your personal data. Where applicable, you also have the right to object to the processing or the right to data portability.

You have consented to provide your personal data to JRC. T.2 for the present processing operation. You can withdraw your consent at any time by notifying the Data Controller. The withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of the processing carried out before you have withdrawn the consent.

You can exercise your rights by contacting the Data Controller, or in case of conflict the Data Protection Officer. If necessary, you can also address the European Data Protection Supervisor. Their contact information is given under Heading 9 below.

Where you wish to exercise your rights in the context of one or several specific processing operations, please provide their description (i.e. their Record reference(s) as specified under Heading 10 below) in your request.

9. Contact information

The Data Controller

If you would like to exercise your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, or if you have comments, questions or concerns, or if you would like to submit a complaint regarding the collection and use of your personal data, please feel free to contact the Data Controller,

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Commission

You may contact the Data Protection Officer ( with regard to issues related to the processing of your personal data under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

You have the right to have recourse (i.e. you can lodge a complaint) to the European Data Protection Supervisor ( if you consider that your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 have been infringed as a result of the processing of your personal data by the Data Controller.

9. Contact information

The Commission Data Protection Officer (DPO) publishes the register of all processing operations on personal data by the Commission, which have been documented and notified to him. You may access the register via the following link:

This specific processing operation has been included in the DPO’s public register with the following Record reference: DPR-EC-00810 - My Email Communications Security Assessment