– JANUARY 28, 2022 –

By Mugurel Olariu, RPD protectie date

January 28th is a special day, not only for the Council of Europe, but for the entire global data protection community, and especially for every person protected by this essential right.

Thus, Data Protection Day is celebrated on 28 January 2022 by the Member States of the Council of Europe.

At the same time, we are celebrating the 41st anniversary of Convention 108, which was opened for signature on January 28, 1981, a document that has influenced and shaped the protection of privacy and data protection worldwide. Its upgraded version (known as Convention 108+) continues to do so.

Convention 108 remains, to date, the only legally binding international instrument on universal data protection as a field, making it the “Global Convention on Data Protection”. Convention 108 may not be known to the general public and the billions of people it protects (55 countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe have ratified or acceded to Convention 108, implementing it on a daily basis), but its role has been crucial in improving our protection.

At national level, Law no. 290/2021 was adopted, published in the Official Gazette. no.1171 / 10.12.2021, which ratified the Protocol, adopted in Strasbourg on October 10, 2018, signed by Romania on June 26, 2020, amending the Convention for the Protection of Individuals against Automatic Processing of Personal Data, adopted on Strasbourg, 28 January 1981.

Data protection issues, including their cross-border dimension, are extremely present in our daily lives – at work, in our dealings with public authorities, in the field of health, when buying goods or services, when traveling in other countries or when surfing the internet.

The purpose of Data Protection Day is therefore to inform and educate the general public about their day-to-day rights, but it can also give data protection professionals the opportunity to meet with data subjects.

Data Protection Day should be a special occasion, a time for each of us to become familiar with a largely unknown but major facet of our daily lives.

The purpose of Data Protection Day is to give people everywhere a chance to understand what personal data is collected and processed about them and why and what their rights are with respect to such processing. They should also be aware of the risks inherent in and associated with the illegal management and unfair processing of their personal data.

The Council of Europe has organized the Conference on Convention 108+ as a global standard of confidentiality, building a free data transfer area while maintaining human dignity*1, and videos on Data Protection Day were made presented by Bjørn Berge, Under-Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, European Commission, Alessandra Pierucci, Chair of the 108th Committee of the Convention, Fiorella Salazar, Minister of Justice and Peace of Costa Rica and Drudeisha Madhub, Commissioner for data protection, T-PD member for the Republic of Mauritius.

At EU level, the working tool represented by the GDPR manages to impose standards with a high level of personal data protection.

► A video clip was made by the EU Specialized Body – European Data Protection Board*2, with the participation of the 31 representatives of their members, which promotes a message on the importance of data protection.

► At the national level – ANSPDCP, launched the Guide on the processing of personal data carried out by the owners’ associations*3 and posted the dedicated Brochure European Data Protection Day

As our lives become more active and our societies continue to harness the potential of the digital age, Convention 108+ is becoming increasingly important to each of us, ensuring humanity, dignity and integrity in an age of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making, providing a common legal space at international level to facilitate data flows between countries.

We conclude that January 28 is the day that reminds us that new technologies, especially new artificial intelligence, must serve us in a way that respects human rights, especially the rights to the protection of privacy and personal data.

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