Council of Europe launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January. It is now celebrated globally and is called Privacy Day outside Europe.
People´s personal data are being processed every second – at work, in their relations with public authorities, in the health field, when they buy goods or services, travel or surf the Internet.
Individuals are generally unfamiliar with the risks related to the protection of their personal data and of their rights in this respect. They are seldom aware of what they can do if they consider that their rights have been breached, or of the role of national data protection agencies.
In 2006 the Council of Europe launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, was opened to signature. Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called Privacy Day outside Europe.
On this date, governments, parliaments, national data protection bodies and other actors carry out activities to raise awareness about the rights to personal data protection and privacy. These may include campaigns targeting the general public, educational projects for teachers and students, open doors at data protection agencies and conferences.
The data protection convention, which is the only international treaty in this field, is being updated to ensure that its data protection principles are still in line with today’s needs.
More than 50 countries around the world have already signed up to the convention, which sets out key principles in the area of personal data protection and is the only international treaty in this field.
Rights of Internet Users
The Council of Europe has created a guide for Internet users to help them better understand their human rights online and what they can do when these rights are challenged.
Generally, these rights are set out in the terms of service of Internet companies, which are mostly lengthy legal contractual conditions which are seldom read and even more seldom fully understood.