Call for paper Convention 108 and the future data protection global standard
On November 2019, Computer Law & Security Review in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino and with the support of the Council of Europe, Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108), will hold an international academic workshop on “Convention 108 and the future data protection global standard”. This workshop aims to stimulate the debate on the role of Convention 108 in the current and future global scenario of data protection regulation.
The proceedings of this workshop will be published in a special issue of this Review. The purpose of this call is to select three best papers to be presented by the authors during the workshop. These papers and all the accepted papers will be included in the special issue.
If GDPR has been described as the new golden standard for data protection, Convention 108 may represent the potential global standard in this field. After years when the Convention on data protection adopted by the Council of Europe has been mainly considered as the archetype of the European national laws and the EU Directive, the recent progressive expansion of this model and the modernised version of the Convention have revitalised its role in the global scenario.
In a multipolar world characterised by different regulatory approaches and by data protection laws that in many countries are still absent or in their early stages, Convention 108 may represent the embodiment of the Latin saying “in medio stat virtus”. Between the extremes of a weak safeguard of individual rights and a golden standard, Convention 108 provides a solution that can strike the right balance in many local contexts which cannot yet match the level of the golden standard.
Moreover, Convention 108 adopts a principles-based approach, which is a cornerstone for a broader set of sector-specific regulatory initiatives in the field of data protection. This sector-specific approach, based on a combination of hard and soft law instruments, provides a more flexible framework to address the challenges that characterise societies which are continuously evolving under the pressure of technology development.
Against this scenario, this call for papers aims to invite experts from different fields and geographical areas to have a discussion centred on three main tracks:
1. The regulatory competition for a global standard in data protection
In recent years, the large majority of countries in the world have adopted data protection laws. This process is not only the result of initiatives at national level, but it is also the consequence of regional strategies on data processing. In this regard, the European models (Convention 108 and GDPR) are the most influential reglementary frameworks, but other geographical areas have developed or aim to adopt their own standards. This is the case of the US, but also of the initiatives adopted by APEC, OECD and, with a minor geographical impact, by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States. Moreover, several countries (e.g. China) have developed autonomous political and regulatory approaches to data use.
In an interconnected world characterised by continuous global data flows, these differences in data protection are significant and politically sensitive. For this reason, there is an increasing competition for a global standard in this field. The papers of this track address this topic discussing the legal and political issues concerning this competition and focusing on the role that Convention 108 can play in this scenario.
2. Convention 108 and its sector-specific applications
The general principles-based text of Convention 108 has been interpreted and tailored to a series of sector-specific situations and types of processing throughput the years. This targeted guidance has been provided by the committee of Convention 108, giving life to the key principles of data protection in a variety of cases and in light of emerging challenges.
Within this framework, for example, the latest Guidelines adopted by the Committee provide orientations for the respect of the right to data protection in AI related processing. The Committee of Convention 108 had also been working on the drafting of instruments adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the latest one being Recommendation (2019)2 on the protection of health-related data. In 2015, a recommendation on data protection in an employment context was adopted by the committee of Ministers and another crucially important Recommendation adopted in 2010 tackles the risks of profiling.
The papers of this track will discuss one or more sector-specific applications of Convention 108 or, from a broader perspective, will address the issues concerning the principles-based model of the Convention and its application in different fields.
3. The experience of the countries that have recently adopted and implemented Convention 108
Convention 108 has been adopted by 54 countries around the world. This process has been characterised by a progressive geographical territorial expansion of the Convention from the original European area to a broader context, including countries from Asia, Africa and South America.
The papers of this track focus both on the reasons of this trend and on country-specific issues concerning the adoption of Convention 108. The main aim of this track is analysing challenges, impacts and potential constraints which characterise the adoption of Convention 108 around the world or in one or more countries.