Privacy is getting increasingly important in the digital age, so what can data protection and privacy authorities do to further uphold people’s fundamental rights?
These were central issues under discussion as the Global Privacy Assembly joined together for their 43rd Closed Session (20-21 October).
The virtual conference was hosted by National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), Mexico, and brought together more than 90 members and observers to consider key data protection challenges. It followed an open session earlier in the week.
Opening the session, Elizabeth Denham CBE, outgoing GPA Chair and UK Information Commissioner, praised the work of the privacy community through the pandemic, calling for the Assembly to continue to be impactful.
Ms Denham said: “We were already in a data-driven age, even before the pandemic supercharged that acceleration of digital growth. Now data-driven innovation is helping us through health crises, and influencing every facet of society.
“Our community’s work is central to that, ensuring people trust that innovation. But we cannot assume that privacy will always have a seat at the table. Our input into discussions on key societal issues is dependent on an understanding that data protection and privacy supervisors bring a valuable insight, a practical mindset and we can respond promptly.”
Resolutions were discussed and agreed at the conference, giving a shared view on a range of important current topics:
- Data sharing for the public good;
- Children’s digital rights;
- Government access to data; and
- The future of the Global Privacy Assembly
Other topics discussed in detail included international enforcement cooperation and regulatory sandboxes.
The Assembly also adopted a strategic plan for the next two years, committing to a continued focus on advancing global privacy, maximising the GPA’s influence and building capacity for members.
The Global Privacy Assembly brings together more than 130 members and observers from around the world. At the closed session, the following new members and observers were welcomed:
- Commissioner of Data Protection, Abu Dhabi Global Market
- Office of the Queensland Information Commissioner, Australia
- National Data Protection Authority (ANPD), Brazil
- Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, Saudi Arabia
- Ministry of Transport and Communication, Qatar
- Data Protection Office, Qatar Financial Centre
- Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, United States
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, United States
- Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum
- Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR)
The results of the GPA Executive Committee election were also announced:
- Marguerite Ouedraogo Bonane, from Burkina Faso’s Commission for Information Technologies and Civil Liberties, stood down having completed her second two year term; and
- Morocco’s National Commission for the control and the protection of Personal Data (CNDP), was elected to the Executive Committee for a two year term.
Commissioner Besnik Dervishi, from Albania’s Information and Data Protection Commissioner also stood down from the GPA Executive Committee after serving an additional year as Past Host Authority.
President Commissioner Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena, of Mexico’s INAI, was elected as Chair of the Assembly. She replaces Elizabeth Denham CBE, UK Information Commissioner, who has completed her three year term.
Welcoming her successor, Ms Denham thanked the Secretariat and the Executive Committee for their support.
President Commissioner Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena responded: “The GPA is alive and flourishing thanks to our interactions and exchanges.
“Our partnership is deepening, with our cooperation covering issues that concern society as a whole, achieving a growing impact.
“The ideas expressed at this conference invite us to rethink and draw new horizons on the incorporation of best practices in the handling of personal data.”
For more information, visit globalprivacyassembly.org