Data Protection Authorities ("DPAs") from across the
world gathered in Marrakesh for the 38thInternational Privacy Conference. This event is
held annually for the purpose of debating topical data protection
The debates this year centred on data privacy being central to:
sustainable development, government access to personal data, the
role of technology, adequacy, localisation and differing cultural
and political frameworks.
International Competency Framework on
Developing new metrics of data
Human Rights Defenders
Each of the Resolutions promotes effective cooperation between
the DPAs. A notable example was the resolution on international
enforcement cooperation. Although it had been recognised that over
the last decade "great strides" had been made to forge
new connections and share knowledge, there was a need for more ways
to cooperate. As a result, the following solutions were agreed at
New working group:
to bring about more effective cooperation in cross-border
investigation and enforcement. The new working group would
facilitate greater enforcement cooperation between the conference
members and report on its work at the 39th International
Nominating leader participant
authorities: the nomination of leader participant
authorities in each of the global regions to serve as a point of
contact for promoting International Conference members'
participation in the Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation
Linking with Global Privacy
Enforcement Network ("GPEN"): the Executive
Committee of International Conference of Data Protection and
Privacy Commissioners were called upon to have further discussions
with GPEN and other relevant networks with the aim of creating
practical projects to coordinate global enforcement
With some of the topics focussing on the implications for
artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, the
European Data Protection Supervisor ("EDPS"), Giovanni
Buttarelli, subsequently commented on this conference as being one
of the "most forward-looking" he had ever seen.
Big data, profiling and automated decision making are key themes
arising from the development of new technologies and have an impact
on an individual's right to privacy. From these discussions, it
was made clear that being transparent to individuals about the use
of their data in machine learning and big data scenarios is
In the new digital world, the EDPS encouraged the increase of
free data flows, but stressed that an individual's right to
privacy must be respected and should be integral to the development
of new technologies. To summarise, the EDPS gave three key
Respect must be had for an
individual's right to privacy which is
Flows of data should be freed up
around the world to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the digital
dividend of technological change and globalization.
There is the need for a common
framework of reference for ethics in the new digital age and which
requires a new global political consensus on the principles of data
In light of the Resolutions, it will be interesting to see what
developments are reported at the next annual conference. The 39th International Privacy
Conference will be held in Hong Kong on 25-29 September
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