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Brussels, 27 January 2010

EDPS statement and activities on the occasion of
Data Protection Day (28 January 2010)

The Member States of the Council of Europe and the European institutions will celebrate the European Data Protection Day for the fourth time on 28 January 2010. This date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Council of Europe's Convention on the protection of personal data (Convention 108), the first legally binding international instrument in the field of data protection.

On this occasion, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) once again highlights the increasing relevance of privacy and data protection. Respect for private life and protection of personal data have been recognised as separate fundamental rights in the EU Charter of fundamental rights, which became binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The protection of personal data was also enhanced by the Treaty in other ways. In the EDPS' view, this was a historic step in which a legal development of the last decades in Europe was confirmed. However, while data protection as a fundamental right is increasingly relevant, it is also a key challenge to ensure an effective protection of personal data in practice.

Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: " Our societies and institutions are more and more dependent upon the widespread use of information and communication technologies. This inevitably leads to a massive processing of personal data in almost all fields of life. The growing use of personal data affects us all, and the privacy consequences of this development are now becoming more visible. It is therefore essential that everyone's fundamental rights to privacy and data protection are effectively protected in practice ."

The EDPS will use the opportunity of this event to stress the importance of privacy and data protection, and in particular to raise awareness among the EU staff about their rights and obligations in the field - these rights and obligations are set out in the Data Protection Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, the implementation of which is supervised by the EDPS. To that end, a one-day information stand will be set up on three consecutive days in the Council of EU Ministers (26 January), the European Commission (27 January) and the European Parliament (28 January).

For more information on the EDPS activities in the context of Data Protection Day, please consult the Events page of our website.

A video message from Peter Hustinx, EDPS, and Giovanni Buttarelli, Assistant Supervisor, is also available on our website.


EDPS - The European guardian of personal data protection

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