Electronic Privacy Information Centre(EPIC) Submits Comments to Council of Europe on Profiling

On September 14, 2010 Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) submitted comments regarding a proposed appendix to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing Personal Data in the Context of Profiling. Better known as the Privacy Convention, the measure was adopted by the Council of Europe in June 2010 by the Consultative Committee of the Convention 108 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. The convention’s primary purpose is to strengthen data protection.

In its comments, EPIC urged the Committee to strengthen the legal protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal information in the context of profiling. EPIC addressed three issues from the draft recommendation that raised concern, including the absence of a definition for “Privacy Enhancing Technology” and the omission of “sex” as part of the definition of “Sensitive Data,” and the lack of a research framework to monitor profiling from the private and public sector. EPIC stated that individuals must be able to freely

exchange information without risk that improper profiles will be established and concluded that failure to protect the fundamental right of privacy thus adversely impacts the free flow of information.

EPIC strongly supports Council of Europe Convention 108, and has launched a campaign urging the United States Government to support the Council of Europe Privacy Convention. On January 28, 2010, twenty-nine members of the EPIC Advisory Board wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to urge that the United States begin the process of ratification of Council of Europe Convention 108.

As an advocate for the Madrid Privacy Declaration, EPIC acknowledged in its comments, that States must establish a comprehensive legal framework for privacy protection and an independent data protection authority that

aids in assessing any adverse effect in individual privacy. The Madrid Declaration reminds the European Union member countries and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries of their obligations to protect the civil rights of their citizens under national constitutions and laws.

Epic news letter 01/10/10



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