At the 30th Conference of European Data Protection Authorities (the “Spring Conference”), members adopted a resolution to accelerate the ratification of the Convention 108+, aiming to protect people’s privacy in the new digital age. The authorities also adopted building blocks for the continuity of the Conference in a second resolution.
Gathering annually in Spring, this year’s Spring Conference was hosted by the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency (AZOP) on 19-20 May, fostering practical collaboration and exchange of best practice between members, with 40 countries attending the event. Member authorities adopted a Resolution on the need for a prompt ratification of “Convention 108+” the modernised version of Convention 108. The resolution calls upon the governments of the member states of the Council of Europe, the governments of third countries to the Council of Europe, the European Union and international organisations to accelerate the signature and ratification process of Convention 108+.
Convention 108, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, is the only legally binding treaty at international level for the protection of personal data. The Convention was modernised in May 2018 through an amended protocol and it is crucial to make this unique instrument promptly come to life. Indeed with its balanced standards, the modernised Convention sets a level of protection for individuals in an ever-expanding digital era to fully enjoy the right to data protection, while facilitating the free flow of data for the benefit of our societies, economies and sustainable development.
Mr Zdravko Vukić, director of the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency, said: “This Conference makes sure we can have a collective discussion at European level and work together to achieve the same goal. Our common goal is to effectively protect data protection rights and interests of European citizens in the ever-changing world where free personal data flows between countries play a pivotal role for the socio-economic growth in Europe. The other element that binds us together and makes the Spring Conference unique is the fact that we are all linked by a human rights-based approach”.
At the conference, the authorities adopted a second Resolution on the Conference Vision, Mission and Steering Group for the Spring Conference, ensuring that it can continue to be delivered successfully on all priority issues shared by European data protection regulators.
The conference was an outstanding and unique opportunity for the authorities to discuss the problems they encounter, best practices and strategies including regarding their own foresight function, transfers and enforcement of cross-border cases. Next year in 2023 the Spring Conference will be hosted by the Hungarian authority in Budapest.