Transparency and Protection - Two Fundamental Components of Democracy
This conference addressed the conciliation of access to information and data protection and notably, how far can the need for transparency go? How does the need to inform fit in with the protection of individuals? Does democracy thrive on protection as much as on transparency?
The news never ceases to demonstrate the restrictions on respect for our fundamental rights. Wars, elections or even pandemics fuel the circulation of false information that undermines the very foundations of our democracies.
Indeed, democracy requires the transmission and sharing of information so that citizens can freely make choices and exercise informed control over the institutions and people who run them. This information must be reliable, truthful and, when it concerns individuals, it must be obtained in accordance with principles that ensure that their privacy is respected.
Social networking and technological practices are increasing the amount of information and the thirst for knowledge. In response, some people are rushing into unlimited voyeurism, under the pretext of freedom of expression and information. In reaction to these excesses, the temptation is strong to hide everything and to refuse all access in order to safeguard people's dignity.
So how far can we go? How does the need to inform fit in with the protection of individuals? Does democracy thrive on protection as much as on transparency?
In order to try to provide an answer to such a question, the conciliation of access to information and data protection has proved to be necessary, even essential. To achieve this, it is necessary to understand these two rights in the public domain, their interrelationship, the role of the authorities that supervise them, and to provide public structures and their representatives with elements that facilitate their decision-making. Moreover, the two Council of Europe conventions on the right of access to information, the so-called Tromsø Convention, and on the protection of personal data, Convention 108+, mutually recognise these two rights.
These points were presented and discussed at this conference on access to information and data protection, organised in collaboration with the National Authority for Personal Data Protection (INPDP) and the National Authority for Access to Information (INAI).
Experts specialised in the field of privacy and information, as well as representatives of the supervisory authorities, discussed the challenges, supervision and solutions related to reconciling access to administrative documents and the protection of personal data. The event was also the opportunity to present a practical guide entitled "Reconciling the right of access to information and the right to protection of personal data", which was developed as a tool to help find the right balance between transparency and protection.
Programme (in French) Report (in French)
- Comparative study on articulation of the rights of access to information and of personal data protection
- Guidelines on Safeguarding Privacy in the Media
M. Chawki GADDES
Chawki Gaddes has been the President of the National Authority for Personal Data Protection (INPDP) since May 2015; in May 2018, he was reappointed for a second term and then for a third in 2021.
He has worked for the adoption by the Tunisian State of the Council of Europe Convention 108, to which Tunisia has been a party since November 2017. He also pushed for Tunisia to sign the Convention 108+ on 24 May 2019.
He was the drafter of the new personal data protection law incorporating the RGPDP standards which was adopted in the Council of Ministers on 8 March 2018 and is currently pending before the Parliamentary Committee.
Chawki Gaddes is also President of the French-speaking Association of Personal Data Protectors (AFAPDP) since September 2019.
He is a public lawyer, academic at the University of Carthage since 1988, specialised in information technology law, data protection and the right of access to information. He was Secretary General of the Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law from 1991 to 2017, where he monitored the drafting of the 2014 constitution.
He was also a member of the investigative body on the facts of the revolution, coordinator of international electoral expertise missions, member of the cabinet of the president of the independent higher authority of elections in 2011. He was a drafter of the draft electoral law for local authorities and a member of the drafting team of the decentralisation code.
Pr. Yves POULLET
Yves Poullet is a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Law in Namur and at the University of Liège. He is also the founder of various European academic networks and has been a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium (Technologies and Society class) since 29 May. From its creation in 1979 until 2010 he was director of the Centre for Research in Computer Science and Law (CRID) at the University of Namur in Belgium.
He is recognized for his expertise in law related to Information and Communication Technologies, more particularly in the field of freedoms related to the information society, and Internet governance. He collaborates with numerous institutions, such as UNESCO, the European Commission and Parliament, and the Council of Europe.
He has many collaborations with universities and colleges, both internationally (for example, he is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Lille, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Lambert Wilson Chair at the University of Montreal) and locally (for example, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Higher Institute of Music and Pedagogy of Namur).
Yves Poullet was the rector of the University of Namur3 (at that time still called "Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix") from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2017.
He is the president of the RDTI (a quarterly legal journal reporting on doctrine and case law relating to information and communication technology law).
M. Joseph A. CANNATACI
Prof. Joe Cannataci is the Head of the Department of Information Policy & Governance at the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences of the University of Malta. He also holds the Chair of European Information Policy & Technology Law within the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen where he co-founded the STeP Research Group.
From July 2015 to 2022, he was the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.
An Adjunct Professor at the Security Research Institute and the School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University Australia, a considerable deal of his time is dedicated to collaborative research. He was overall co-ordinator for the SMARTand RESPECT projects dealing with surveillance and currently also co-ordinates MAPPING dealing with Internet Governance www.mappingtheinternet.eu.
A UK Chartered Information Technology Professional & Fellow of the British Computer Society, he also continues to act as Expert Consultant to a number of international organisations.
He has written books and articles on data protection law, liability for expert systems, legal aspects of medical informatics, copyright in computer software and co-authored various papers and textbook chapters on self-regulation and the Internet, the EU Constitution and data protection, on-line dispute resolution, data retention and police data. His latest book “The Individual & Privacy” is published by Ashgate (March 2015).
In 2002 he was decorated by the Republic of France and elevated to Officier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques. His pioneering role in the development of technology law and especially privacy law was cited as one of the main reasons for his being made the recipient of such an honour as was his contribution to the development of European information policy He has held or currently holds research grants from the British Academy, the Council of Europe, COST, UNESCO and the European Commission, totaling in excess of Euro 30 million. He serves on the editorial board of six peer-reviewed journals.
M. Samir BOUAZIZ
Mme. Onur ANDREOTTI
After having studied law, philosophy and social anthropology, Onur Andreotti begun her work as a case-lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in 1999. From 2012 to 2016 she worked for the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental committee in charge of policy development in the media field, drafting and negotiating Committee of Ministers’ soft law instruments on freedom of expression and safety of journalists. She was closely involved in the creation of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.
Since her return to the ECtHR Registry in 2016, she works as a senior research lawyer, case-law co-ordinator on Article 10 of the Convention (right to freedom of expression). She also acts as a co-ordinator of the Superior Courts Network under the direction of the Jurisconsult. (Réseau des cours supérieures)
Mouna Mtibaa holds a PhD in CIS (2022) from the Press and Information Science Institute (IPSI) where she is also a part-time lecturer in the master's degree in investigative journalism.
She is editor-in-chief at the Tunis Afrique Presse agency, where she held the position of CEO (2020-2021). She was also deputy director in charge of training at the European Media Support Programme in Tunisia (AMAP- 2018-2020).
Among her publications: the feminisation of the journalistic profession in Tunisia (2022), the treatment of GBV in the Tunisian media (2021), the transparency of ownership of audiovisual media in Tunisia (2016), the state of press freedom in Tunisia (1998).
She was secretary general of the Tunisian section of Amnesty International (1998-1996) and a member of the steering committee of the Association of Tunisian Journalists (1992-1994).
M. Christian FLÜCKIGER
Christian Flueckiger, Doctor of Law and attorney-at-law, has been the Data Protection and Transparency Officer of the cantons of Jura and Neuchâtel since 2013. He has been vice-president of the Coordination Group of Swiss Data Protection Authorities since 2011, member of the committee of PRIVATIM (Swiss association of cantonal and communal data protection authorities) since 2014, member of the Data Protection Working Group of the Schengen/Dublin Intercantonal Accompanying Organisation of the Conference of Cantons since 2015, trainer for Avenir formation since 2015, member of the Board of Directors and CAUCA of Raiffeisen Neuchâtel et Vallées since 2019 and member of the Ethics and Security Commission of the CARA association (electronic patient file) since 2020.
Mme. Awa NDIAYE
Ms. Awa Ndiaye is, since 2016, the President of the Commission for Personal Data Protection (CDP). She is the second vice-president of the Bureau of the Advisory Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108).
Ms. Awa NDIAYE has been Minister several times: Minister of Family, Women and National Solidarity, Minister of Family, Women's Entrepreneurship and Microfinance, Minister of State to the President of the Republic, Minister of State, Minister of Gender, Equity and Relations with African and Foreign Women's Associations, Minister of Culture, Gender and Living Environment. She has also been Consul of Senegal in Washington, First Counsellor at the Embassy and Technical Advisor to national and international institutions.
She is also a lecturer in the Department of Modern Literature at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.
Mrs. Awa NDIAYE holds a PhD in French Literature from the University of Paris IV Sorbonne and a Higher Diploma in Diplomatic and Strategic Studies.
M. Adnene LASSOUED
Adnene Lassoued, magistrat (3ème grade), est depuis le 18 juillet 2017, Vice-Président puis président intérimaire de l’Instance d’accès à l’information de Tunisie - INAI.
Avant cela, il a été successivement juge de siège au Tribunal de première instance de Monastir, puis juge détaché à la Cour d’Appel de Monastir, juge de siège au Tribunal de première instance de Tunis siégeant à La chambre de la famille qui traite de tous les litiges civils en matière familiale au sens large, magistrat chercheur 1er, 2ème puis 3ème grade au Centre d’études juridiques et judiciaires (CEJJ) relevant du Ministère de la Justice.
À partir de septembre 2014, il a été juge, Président de Chambre à la Cour d’appel de Nabeul puis Avocat général au Parquet général des services judiciaires (Direction générale des affaires pénales) au Ministère de la Justice.
Adnene Lassoued, magistrate (3rd grade), has been since 18 July 2017, Vice-President then interim President of the Tunisian Access to Information Authority - INAI.
Before that, he was successively a judge at the Court of First Instance of Monastir, then a judge seconded to the Court of Appeal of Monastir, a judge at the Court of First Instance of Tunis sitting at the Family Division, which deals with all civil disputes in family matters in the broadest sense of the term, and a research magistrate (1st, 2nd and 3rd grade) at the Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies (CEJJ) under the Ministry of Justice.
From September 2014, he was a judge, President of Chamber at the Court of Appeal of Nabeul and then Advocate General at the General Prosecutor's Office of Judicial Services (General Directorate of Criminal Affairs) at the Ministry of Justice.