Russia signs international privacy pact

Convention 108 was established to safeguard private data

Russia on Wednesday took a step toward protecting private data by ratifying the so-called Convention 108, established in 1981 and legally binding in 45 countries.

The convention was set up to safeguard the privacy of private citizens. It comprises rules ensuring that data is processed fairly and through procedures established by law, for a specific purpose; that information is stored for no longer than is required for this purpose; and that individuals have a right to have access, rectify or erase their data.

Signatory states must also set up an independent authority to ensure compliance with data protection principles and to help prevent any abuses.

The decision to implement the convention was sent to the Council of Europe by the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the CoE, Alexander Alekseev. It will enter into force on Sept. 1, making Russia the 46th member of the convention.

According to the CoE, the text is drafted in a technologically neutral style and has the potential to become a global standard regardless of technological advances. However it is currently being updated to ensure that its data protection principles are still valid for new tools and practices.

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