Data Protection

Convention & Protocol
Modernisation
Committee
Documents

History

Convention ETS No 108 of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (of 1981) - which was the first legally binding international instrument with worldwide significance on data protection - draws inspiration directly from the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which was opened for signature in 1950. In particular, Article 8 of this Convention states that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence". This right can only be restricted by a public authority in accordance with domestic law and in so far as it is necessary, in a democratic society, for the defence of a number of legitimate aims. But the Convention also lays down, in Article 10, the fundamental right to freedom of expression. This right includes explicitly the "freedom to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers". The "freedom to receive information" set out in Article 10 is considered as implying the "freedom to seek information". (more)