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September 2021

Department of International Law and Inter-American Institute of Human Rights present The CJI’s Updated Principles On Privacy and The Protection of Personal Data

Department of International Law and Inter-American Institute of Human Rights present The CJI’s Updated Principles On Privacy and The Protection of Personal Data

On Thursday, September 23, the Department of International Law (DIL) of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS, and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIDH) jointly held a virtual seminar to present the Inter-American Juridical Committee’s (CJI) Updated Principles on Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data.

This OAS body approved the Updated Principles in April 2021, fulfilling a mandate from the General Assembly. The 13 Updated Principles, the result of a broad consultation process among OAS Member States and some international organizations, are enhanced with a set of annotations that develop and detail their content.

The event started with a welcome from Dr. Claudio Grossman, President of the IIDH, who pointed out that the pandemic we are experiencing has evidenced the need to protect personal data; therefore, the sanitary measures that have been implemented in several States of the region and that imply the treatment of this type of data must be proportional, lawful, justified and limited. He further called on the General Assembly of the OAS to approve the Updated Principles of the CJI in its next session.

For his part, Dr. Dante Negro, Director of the DIL mentioned that the great challenge is to achieve a balance between ensuring the protection of personal data and the flow of this type of data for legitimate purposes. He also noted that the CJI seeks to contribute to achieving that balance, particularly since privacy is a concern in everyone's daily life.

Next, the rapporteur for protection of personal data at the CJI, Dr. Mariana Salazar Albornoz highlighted that the technological acceleration that the pandemic has produced has not been proportional to the regulatory advances in the matter, evidencing a need for minimum standards that serve to strengthen the protection of privacy in light of these developments. Subsequently, she proceeded to succinctly develop each of the 13 Updated Principles.

Dr. Felipe Rotondo, former president of the Ibero-American Data Protection Network (RIPD), shared some reflections on the Updated Principles vis a vis the Ibero-American Standards approved by the RIPD itself in 2017. In this regard, he considered that there is full compatibility between both instruments, highlighting that the Updated Principles and their corresponding annotations are sufficiently didactic and flexible to remain current in the face of future technological advances.

Participants had the opportunity to submit questions to the panelists in a session led by the event's moderator, Ms. Claudia Barrientos, OAS representative in Uruguay. Subsequently, Dr. Eduardo Bertoni, representative of the IIDH’s Regional Office for South America, highlighted the value of the consultation process undertaken by the CJI as part of the preparation of the Updated Principles since, by incorporating the contributions of the States Members of the OAS, its adoption by these same States becomes more feasible and advisable.

Finally, Dr. Jaime Moreno-Valle, Principal Legal Officer of the DIL closed the event by highlighting that the vertiginous development of technology regarding the collection and processing of personal data makes it necessary for the OAS and the CJI in particular to continue strengthening the set of tools that it makes available to its Member States, citing as an example the “Declaration on Neuroscience, Neurotechnologies and Human Rights: New Challenges for the Americas” adopted by the CJI in August 2021, which draws attention to the need to protect the personal data obtained through the use of neurotechnologies.

» To read the Updated Principles on Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data, click here.

» To visit the event’s web page and view the video (available in Spanish only), click here.

» To visit the DIL’s web page on personal data protection, click here.


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