Restrictions in personal data protection linked to technology development – parliament official

11:57 • 29.11.17



The Standing Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has issued its positive conclusions on the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.


The changes will apply also to Armenia, which is a State Party to the Convention. The new regulations propose specific procedures for the proactive publication of certain data, outlining simultaneously strict measures towards the protection of personal security, says Arpine Hovhannisyan, the head of Armenia's national delegation to the PACE.


“Any person responsible for the collection of personal data must collect those data only for explicit, clearly defined and legitimate purposes to make the procession of specific data serve the assigned objective. Additionally, data processors must ensure proper awareness of the rights pertaining to the subjects in question. That implies also the proactive publication of certain data (e.g. – the data processor’s name, address, the real grounds and purposes for processing the data ). They have outlined strict requirements for ensuring security in the procession of personal data,” she said in an interview with Tert.am.

 
According to Hovhannisyan, the new changes restrict also discretionary approaches by states.


“Exclusions from conventional clauses may be applicable only to specific cases prescribed by the law whenever they do not imply essential restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms, and are necessary in democratic societies and in line with the prevailing social need standard, as well as not subject to less severe interventions,” she explained.


Hovhannisyan noted that the changes expand also the Committee’s authority, renaming it a Conventional Committee entitled to issue evaluations and vested with a monitoring function.


Asked to comment on the motives behind adopting tougher approaches, Hovhannisyan highlighted the development of, and threats stemming from, information technologies.


“The motive is, logically, to ensure protection of personal data for individuals in both member and non-member states while maintaining balance with the right to freedom of speech.”


Commenting on the situation in Armenia, Hovhannisyan noted that the main violations are observed in video surveillance procedures (i.e. – failure to give a proper warning on the existence of surveillance cameras on the premises of offices and different other institutions etc).


“The Republic of Armenia law ‘On the Protection of Personal Data’ has been only recently adopted so the implementation process revealed certain obstacles which I think will be eliminated based on amendments by State Parties to the Convention,” she said, citing further the violations observed in the delivery of marketing-related messages.


“The individual may not have given his or her consent or telephone number to [agree] to the submission of that kind of specific information. Another problem is in the field of children’s rights, as the data processor’s goals are absolutely unclear in that case. This is due to not quite clearly defined regulations in the law and non-clear interpretations which I think will be revised in the near future,” Hovhannisyan said.

Betghehem Arabyan





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