Every year, we celebrate international data protection day on 28 January. It's an opportunity to reflect on what privacy represents to us as individuals and collectively.
Below are some thoughts and reflections from senior privacy figures and leaders:
- The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) published a blog calling for SMEs to ensure that they have adequate data protection practices in place to operate their businesses. The ICO also posted a thread on Twitter to raise awareness of individuals' data rights. The ICO highlights that data rights are the cornerstone of the law and are what our legislation is based around.
- The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) marked the occasion with a video explaining the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the regulatory role that the EDPB fulfils. The video highlighted high-profile enforcement actions, including those against Meta over its terms of service violations on the company's Facebook and Instagram platforms, and against Twitter after private messages were made public, and also Instagram for disclosing the telephone numbers of children using business accounts.
- In an op-ed with EURACTIV, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Wojciech Wiewiórowski spoke about celebrating data protection day with pride due to the many achievements made within the EU to protect EU citizens' data rights. However, he also used the occasion to highlight how privacy and data protection are too often suspended at the borders when dealing with immigration. In a separate post, the EDPS posted a video celebrating data protection day, along with a factsheet explaining how EU data protection law grants citizens certain rights when an EU institution processes their data.
- Austrian privacy group NOYB posted a blog asking whether European citizens are really protected. The post, which highlights the 42-year history of 28 January, talks about GDPR enforcement only in theory, the conflict between the law and regulators, how these are an obstacle to enforcement and that of the 848 complaints filed by NOYB since May 2018, 764 are still not concluded.
- To honour the occasion, Apple unveiled a set of educational resources designed to help users take control of their data. An entertaining set of videos: A Day in the Life of an Average Person's Data. The video features Apple TV+ Ted Lasso star Nick Mohammed. The videos include an Apple Store specialist accompanying Mohammed as he goes about his day while explaining iPhone privacy features, including Mail Privacy Protection, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, App Tracking Transparency, and Wallet and Apple Pay.
- The Future of Privacy Forum has published a series of tips about protecting personal information and controlling how it is shared and used on the eve of Data Privacy Day.
- In view of Data Protection Day at the European Commission, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, issued a statement about how EU data protection laws are a global benchmark for the protection of personal data. They discuss the signing of the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework last year, which allowed the Commission to move forward in adopting an adequacy decision for international data transfers to the US. They also highlight the enforcement actions undertaken by member state data protection authorities along with the finalisation of the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act.
We will continue to update this page with further announcements.
Meanwhile, here at Freevacy, we've launched a fully funded scholarship programme, giving frontline employees an opportunity to become privacy champions with a recognised qualification in a bit to alleviate pressure on compliance teams while providing a solution to the skills shortage.
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