Different legal frameworks, but one common objective: protecting privacy online

Nairobi, 27.09.2011 Internet instant flow of data across countries has made the need for worldwide discussions on privacy issues more pressing. Despite their cultural and legal differences countries around the globe are striving to achieve a common objective: ensuring a better privacy protection. some normative and some self-regulatory - and guaranteeing protection remains however a challenge. Considering the difficulty for business to face fragmented legal frameworks, there is an essential need to ensure legal certainty.

Reconciling the various personal data protection frameworks that co-exist throughout the world

These were some of the conclusions of the workshop organised by the Council of Europe at the IGF on strengthening the protection of cross-border internet personal data. The workshop aimed at enabling global and multistakeholder exchanges on privacy issues currently addressed at regional level in the context of the modernisation of the Council of Europe convention on data protection.

A clear definition of the applicable law is one of the pieces of the puzzle, as is a set of commonly agreed data protection principles, including new ones. Principles such as accountability, privacy by design, data minimisation, and anonymity are seen as means to further secure an effective protection. International technical standardisation such as ISO certification could also serve as supplementary protective tool, which would enable standardisation of the protection at global level.