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30th Conference of European Data Protection Authorities
The jubilee 30th Conference of European Data Protection Authorities („Spring Conference”) took place on 19 and 20 May 2022. The purpose of this annual event is to promote practical cooperation and exchange of best practices among its members.
This year the event was hosted by the Croatian Data Protection Agency, and was attended by representatives from more than 40 countries. Discussions involved the general challenges to confidentiality arising from the growing use of artificial intelligence, mass video surveillance with facial recognition and profile generation, data transfers, etc.
The work of the Conference was divided into 8 thematic sessions - „Data protection in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”, „Convention 108+, mutual assistance and global convergence”, „Recent developments and challenges related to data transfer”, „Law enforcement cooperation: cross-border cases and Article 50 of the GDPR”, „Report of the subgroup on the future of the Spring Conference”, „Report of the European seminar on case studies: participation, structure of the seminar, topics covered and results”, „Forecasts, innovation and technology monitoring”, „Awareness raising and implementation of EU-funded projects in the EU and non-EU countries”.
Two resolutions were adopted at this year`s Spring Conference - for ratification of Convention 108+ and for further European cooperation.
Convention 108 (Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data) is the only legally binding multilateral treaty at international level for the protection of personal data. The Convention was modernized in May 2018 through an amending protocol and is approaching a key deadline for entry into force in 2023. The Conference`s resolution on Convention 108+ calls on the governments of the Member States of the Council of Europe, third countries for the Council of Europe, The European Union and international organizations to speed up the process of signing and ratifying Convention 108+.
Another document was also adopted - Resolution to ensure further continuity in the work of the Spring Conference, which ensures that it can continue to be successfully implemented on all priority issues shared by European data protection authorities. The conference is a great opportunity to discuss issues, best practices and strategies, including forecasting functions, data transmission and law enforcement in cross-border cases.
The Director of the Croatian Data Protection Agency, Mr. Zdravko Vukic, said: „This conference ensures that we can have a collective discussion at European level and work together to achieve a common goal. Our common goal is to protect effectively the rights and interests of European citizens` data protection in an ever-changing world, where the free flow of personal data between countries plays a key role in Europe`s socio-economic growth. The other element that unites us and makes the Spring Conference unique is the fact that we are all connected on a human rights-based approach.”