The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information

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Bonn/Berlin, 25/10/2019

Press release 25/2019

The 41st International Data Protection Conference

In Tirana, representatives of approximately 120 independent data protection authorities from more than 80 countries engaged in discussions under the motto “Convergence and Connectivity”. Among others, the 41st International Data Protection Conference (ICDPPC) set up a “Policy Strategy Working Group” to develop common global data protection standards and to define the relationship between data protection and other fundamental rights.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Ulrich Kelber, stressed the importance of an even more globally interconnected data protection regime: Digitalisation ensures that data are now globally interconnected and accessible. Therefore, also data protection must constitute a guarantee of fundamental rights at the global level. In Europe, we have already taken a first step in this direction with the GDPR. By setting up the ICDPPC’s “Policy Strategy Working Group”, we are now pursuing this path consistently. My authority and I will therefore be glad to participate in this working group.

As to the strategic orientation for the years 2019-2021, the Conference’s further work priorities are supposed to include the topic of artificial intelligence and the specific data protection requirements for the protection of minors. In addition, the Conference will strive for a stronger structure for the future in order to facilitate permanent cooperation among its members in addition to the annual meeting. Also for this reason, it was decided to rename the ICDPPC “the Global Privacy Assembly”.

The Conference also adopted various resolutions, inter alia a “Resolution on the importance of data protection as a fundamental right and as a prerequisite for the exercise of further fundamental rights”. It calls on governments throughout the world to recognise data protection as a fundamental right and to enshrine data protection in their national legislations. In addition, companies are called upon to demonstrably assume accountability for data protection and the protection of other fundamental rights.

The next conference of “the Global Privacy Assembly” will take place in Mexico in October 2020.