Data Protection Day
On 26 April 2006, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to launch a Data Protection Day, to be celebrated each year on 28 January.
This date corresponds to the anniversary of the opening for signature of the Council of Europe's Convention 108 for the Protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data which has been for over 30 years a cornerstone of data protection, in Europe and beyond.
Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called the "Privacy Day" outside Europe.
Data protection issues, including their cross-border dimension, are forever present in citizens’ lives – at work, in their relations with public authorities, in the health field, when they buy goods or services, when they travel or surf the internet.
Nevertheless, it is a well-known fact that European citizens are generally unfamiliar with data protection issues and unaware of their rights in this respect.
Moreover, data protection does not usually feature in the curricula of schools and universities.
On the Data Protection Day, events should be organised all over Europe to raise awareness on data protection and inform citizens of their rights and of good practices, thereby enabling them to exercise these rights more effectively.
The Data Protection Day should be a special occasion, a time set aside by each and every one of us to familiarise ourselves with a largely unknown, yet major, facet of our everyday lives.
The aim of the Data Protection Day is to give European citizens the chance to understand what personal data is collected and processed about them and why, and what their rights are with respect to this processing.
They should also be made aware of the risks inherent and associated with the illegal mishandling and unfair processing of their personal data.
The objective of the Data Protection Day is therefore to inform and educate the public at large as to their day-to-day rights, but it may also provide data protection professionals with the opportunity of meeting data subjects.
Each interested member state, national or international body is encouraged to participate. The Data Protection Day is intended to be organised in a flexible and decentralised manner so as to cater for the wishes and resources of each participant.
Interested states or bodies may determine the type of activity they wish to organise. To this end, they may wish to take into account any data protection raising-awareness strategy that they may have at national level.
The Council of Europe has no specific budget for this activity. Therefore, each State and/or interested body has to finance on its own budget any activity it wishes to organise within the framework of this Day.
However, in view of the fact that most data protection supervisory authorities and some public or private sector parties already organise awareness-raising activities, participation in the Data Protection Day would not necessarily entail an additional financial burden.
It would be more a matter of including the 28th of January when planning events in the framework of a State and/or interested body’s awareness-raising strategy.
Further information: Data.Protection@coe.int