In 2006, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to designate 28 January as Data Protection Day. This day is now celebrated worldwide, under the name "Privacy Day" outside Europe. It marks the anniversary of the opening to signature of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108), thus raising awareness on the need to respect and protect individual’s privacy and  highlighting the role of Convention 108  for transborder data flows in the world.

For more than 40 years, Convention 108 has contributed to the development of privacy and data protection not only in Europe but also far beyond. Its modernised version (known as Convention 108+) addresses the ever-increasing challenges of digitalising world to build a space for the free transfer of data while securing human dignity. This makes Convention 108+ a unique and universal tool for legal harmonisation and convergence that puts the human being back in a position of subject and not just object of algorithmic deduction, control, and surveillance.

The Council of Europe, the organiser of the conference “Computers, Privacy and Data Protection International Conference (CPDP)” and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) co-hosted a one-day event to mark the Data Protection Day on 25 January 2024 in Brussels, with panels dedicated to Convention 108+ and issues of global interest such as the rights to privacy and data protection in the digital age, children’s privacy in virtual playgrounds, interoperability between data flow regimes, the future of digital governance and on international regulation of AI. The conference confirmed that there is a momentum also at political level for a meaningful change concerning the protection of privacy and personal data globally in which Convention 108+ once entered into force can provide for a favourable forum for cooperation among states and different regions. The aim of the day is to raise awareness on the challenges of data protection and privacy and to inform people about their rights and how they can exercise them. With this day now celebrated worldwide, the Council of Europe is demonstrating that it plays a major, pioneering and visionary role in the digital transformation.

It is also in this spirit that the chair of the Committee of Convention 108 as well as the Data Protection Commissioner of the Council of Europe has issued a statement and the Committee of Convention 108 awarded the sixth Stefano Rodotà Award, intended to reward research work, articles and publications of an academic nature, published or finalised in the previous year by young researchers and in the area of data protection.