PACE supports the modernisation of the Convention on the Protection of Personal Data

In order to address developments in information and communication technologies, there is an urgent need to modernise the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108), the Assembly said today.

Meeting in Copenhagen at Standing Committee level, the parliamentarians welcomed the preparation of a draft protocol amending Convention 108 and its explanatory report, having as its main aims to provide a response to the challenges arising from developments in new information and communication technologies and to enhance the implementation in practice of Convention 108.

Adopting an opinion based on a report by Raphael Comte (Switzerland, ALDE), members noted that over six years after the beginning of the modernisation process, “difficulties in reaching a consensus on certain provisions in the draft amending protocol persist”. These disagreements, in particular on the arrangements for the entry into force of the amending protocol, jeopardise the whole exercise and “risk causing the Council of Europe to no longer be the lead player in the field of the protection of personal data”.

On the optimistic assumption that an agreement is found by the end of 2017, the Assembly wishes the Committee of Ministers open the amending protocol for signature as quickly as possible and urged member states to ratify it without delay.
If the disagreements persist, the parliamentarians believe that the Committee of Ministers should take due note and initiate without delay new negotiations for the prompt adoption of a new convention based on the draft amending protocol already approved by the ad hoc committee on data protection.