Data protection is one of the main issues of the development of the European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). Indeed, the introduction of measures that touch upon data protection is coupled with growing dilemmas on how to best ensure individuals’ fundamental rights. Is the current legislation on data protection adequate to the challenges posed by specific technologies and specific policies? Do the main actors have the adequate powers to shape legislation and enforce controls? Do the Data Protection Framework Decision and the Lisbon Treaty offer satisfactory means to cope with present loopholes? The scope of this briefing paper is to provide updated background information concerning data protection in the area of freedom, security and justice. In particular, addressing the previous questions should offer an opportunity to discuss present shortcomings, identify best practices and provide recommendations for possible future activities of the LIBE Committee. Therefore, this briefing paper aims at «deconstructing» the system in order to highlight specific shortcomings and current transformations. Part One focuses on the evolution of the European data protection framework on security issues; Part Two discusses powers, competencies and potential evolution of some of the main actors; Part Three recalls current debates on key measures and technologies, and questions their consequences on AFSJ data protection. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the previous sections and recommendations are advanced.