What is Convention 108?

What is Convention 108?

Convention 108, also known as the “Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data” was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1981. It was the first legally binding international instrument on data protection and required signatories to take steps in domestic legislation. Significantly, Convention 108 is open to any country, not just those in the EU.

It consists of three parts:

  • Set of principles on automatic processing of personal data
  • Rules for trans-border data flows – including that countries shall not prohibit flows & shall provide data protection
  • Mechanisms of mutual assistance – including the designation of a supervisory authority

The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data:


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