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Department of International Law > OAS

Protection of Personal Data -  March 2014

Department of International Law Takes Part in Workshop on Regulation of Protection of Personal Data

The OAS took part in a workshop on "Enhancing Regulation of Protection of Personal Data in Central America and the Caribbean," held February 11-14 in La Antigua, Guatemala, by the Ibero-American Data Protection Network (RIPD), in coordination with the Spanish Data Protection Agency and the Mexican Federal Institute for Access to Information (IFAI). Invited by the RIPD, the OAS was represented by Dr. David P. Stewart, a member of the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), the advisory body to the OAS on legal matters; Dr. Dante Negro, Director of the Department of International Law (DIL); and Dr. Magaly McLean, DIL Senior Legal Officer.

Data protection authorities and other public institutions were brought together at the meeting to exchange experiences and information, in order to advance policy development on the protection of personal data in Central America and the Caribbean.

The workshop was also a significant boost to RIPD-OAS collaboration, and provided Dr. Stewart with valuable input to enrich work being done by the CJI to draft a Model Law on Protection of Personal Data, pursuant to a General Assembly mandate in resolution AG/RES. 2811 (XLIII-O/13), which instructs the Committee to submit proposals to the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP) on different ways in which the protection of personal data can be regulated, including a model law on the subject, taking into account international standards.

Meanwhile, the DIL officials explained to participants the OAS' treatment of data protection. This was the second time the OAS General Secretariat was participating, through the DIL, in an RIPD meeting since obtaining permanent observer status in 2013. It had previously participated in a closed meeting of the Network in October 2011.

The RIPD developed out of an agreement reached at the Ibero-American Meeting on Data Protection (EIPD), held in La Antigua, Guatemala, from June 1- 6, 2003. That meeting had brought together representatives from 14 countries. The Network seeks to promote inter-agency cooperation and dialogue involving key players, in order to work on data protection policies and initiatives, as well as policies, technologies, and methodologies to ensure the fundamental right to protection of personal data. . 

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