Council of Europe celebrates Data Protection Day

For the occasion of Data Protection Day on 28 January, the Committee of the Council of Europe’s data protection treaty “Convention 108” has published Guidelines on Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection.

The guidelines aim to assist policymakers, artificial intelligence (AI) developers, manufacturers and service providers in ensuring that AI applications do not undermine the right to data protection.

The Convention’s Committee underlines that the protection of human rights, including the right to protection of personal data, should be an essential pre-requisite when developing or adopting AI applications, in particular when they are used in decision-making processes, and be based on the principles of the updated data protection convention, “Convention 108+, opened for signature in October 2018.

In addition, any innovation in the field of AI should pay close attention to avoiding and mitigating the potential risks of processing of personal data, and allow meaningful control by data subjects over the data processing and its effects.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Timo Soini welcomed the adoption of the guidelines and said: “Artificial intelligence brings benefits to our daily lives. At the same time, it is necessary to look into the ethical and legal questions that it raises. To ponder this, we have invited many high-level experts from all member states to a conference on the impacts of artificial intelligence development on human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Helsinki on 26 and 27 February that will allow us to exchange thoughts and knowledge”.

Stefano Rodotà Award

The first Council of Europe´s Stefano Rodotà Award has been awarded to Ingrida Milkaite and Eva Lievens, for their work in a research project carried out at Ghent University aimed at putting children’s rights and data protection into perspective: A children’s rights perspective on privacy and data protection in the digital age.

The winners will have the opportunity to present their project at the next plenary session of the Committee of Convention 108 in Strasbourg in June 2019. To be awarded annually on the occasion of Data Protection Day, the Stefano Rodotà Award honours innovative and original academic research projects in the field of data protection.

Data Protection Day

Created by the Council of Europe in 2006, Data Protection Day is celebrated every year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data was opened for signature. Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called Privacy Day outside Europe.