Hundreds of privacy experts from around the world met in Madrid on Wednesday for a three-day conference which aims to arrive at a global standard for the protection of personal data.
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as well representatives from data protection agencies from 50 nations and top managers from key Internet firms like Google and Facebook are taking part in the event, billed as the world’s largest forum dedicated to privacy.
Artemi Rallo Lombarte, the director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, an independent control authority which is organising the 31st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy, said laws regulating privacy vary greatly around the world.
Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald.
In a crisply worded declaration, over 100 civil society organizations and privacy experts from more than 40 countries have set out an expansive statement on the future of privacy. The Madrid Declaration affirms that privacy is a fundamental human right and reminds “all countries of their obligations to safeguard the civil rights of their citizens and residents.” The Madrid Declaration warns that “privacy law and privacy institutions have failed to take full account of new surveillance practices.” The Declaration urges countries “that have not yet established a comprehensive framework for privacy protection and an independent data protection authority to do so as expeditiously as possible.” The civil society groups and experts recommend a “moratorium on the development or implementation of new systems of mass surveillance.” Finally, the Declaration calls for the “establishment of a new international framework for privacy protection, with the full participation of civil society, that is based on the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights, and support for democratic institutions.” The Madrid Declaration was released at the Public Voice conference in Madrid on Global Privacy Standards. Multiple translations of the Declaration are available.
The full text of the declaration in English can be found here, courtesy of The Public Voice.
Photo credit: Damian Corrigan