The Council of Europe is organising a workshop on 28 January in Brussels at the 9th Edition of the “Computers, Privacy and Data Protection international conference” (CPDP) to take stock of ten years of experience of the Data Protection Day, and to assess how this celebration has contributed to raise awareness about the protection of personal data in Europe and beyond.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Data Protection Day, which was established by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2006. The date was chosen to mark the opening for signature of the data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, on 28 January 1981.
The aim of the workshop will be to recall the objective of this celebration, why it matters and the progress made since 2006; show-case some great practices and initiatives; and take stock of the difficulties encountered. The multi-stakeholder panel will be chaired by Maria Michaelidou, programme advisor at the Data Protection Unit of the Council of Europe and moderated by Christiana Markou, lecturer in law at European University Cyprus.
The Council of Europe is also co-organising, on the same day, together with the European Data Protection Supervisor and the American National Cyber Security Alliance a transatlantic dialogue on the development of a sustainable 'Big Data' ecosystem, with speakers both in Washington D.C. and in Brussels.
During the conference, will be held from 27 to 29 January, the Council of Europe delegation will also contribute to panels on “Cross Border Data Requests for Law Enforcement in the Post-Snowden Era”, “Intelligence services surveillance in the EU: fundamental rights, safeguards and remedies” and “Internet architecture and human rights”.
CPDP is a non-profit platform originally founded in 2007 by research groups from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Université de Namur and Tilburg University and has now grown into a platform carried by 20 academic centres of excellence from the EU, the US and beyond.
Every year it brings together academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
Max Schrems, privacy activist and founder of the Europe vs Facebook initiative, stresses that the lack of enforcement is the biggest problem for the protection of personal data in Europe. Max Schrems initiated the legal proceedings that led to the ruling of the EU Court of Justice which invalidated the European Commission’s “Safe Harbor” scheme.
Jean-Philippe Walter, Chair of the Consultative Committee of “Convention 108”, explains the key challenges to the protection of personal data today, in particular the lack of transparency in the processing of data. He also explains the objectives of the ongoing process to update “Convention 108” to adapt it to new technological developments.