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Happy Data Privacy Day!

Data Privacy Day

January 28, 2020, was a time to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Or, if you are in Europe, it is called, Data Protection Day.

What is Data Privacy Day?

On January 28 of each year, Canada celebrates Data Privacy Day, and has been doing so since 2008. Data Privacy Day is an international effort that has been created in order to empower individuals and encourage organizations to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust.

Canada and the United States began celebrating Data Privacy Day in January, 2008 as an extension of the celebration in Europe. In April 2006, the Council of Europe launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as Convention 108, was opened for signature (Strasbourg, 28/01/1981). It was entered into force in 1985. The Chart of signatures and ratifications of Convention 108 can be found here.

The details of Convention 108 can be found here, and the text of Convention 108 can be found here.

A bilingual version (French) is included here.

Essentially, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data is the first binding international instrument which protects individuals in situations involving the collection and processing of personal data.

More precisely, important provisions are contained in Chapter II dealing with basic principles for data protection, along with Chapter III dealing with transborder data flows.

How do people celebrate Data Privacy Day?

The Council of Europe states that, on January 28, governments, parliaments, national data protection bodies and others carry out activities to raise awareness about the rights to personal data protection and privacy. For instance, there may be campaigns targeting the general public, educational projects for teachers and students, open doors at data protection agencies and conferences.

For example, there is a website discussing Data Privacy Day that is hosted by It contains information regarding the day and also some helpful tools. For example, it has a tip sheet providing ways to help employees become more privacy aware.

Along the same lines, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada just created and shared a presentation package, and has allowed individuals to use a PowerPoint and PDF file containing speaking notes, for when they give presentations on privacy in community centres, in local libraries, to community groups, or even family and friends.

The speaking notes can be found here, and the PowerPoint file can be found here.

More specifically, the presentation was made for a general audience with the goal of helping to increase privacy awareness among Canadians so they can better protect their privacy rights. The presentation notes were prepared for a presentation that might take approximately 20 minutes. The presentation touches on privacy topics such as: privacy rights and personal information; businesses’ obligations to protect privacy; privacy settings and passwords; staying safe on social media and the web; and avoiding identity theft and spam threats.

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Christina Catenacci

Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002 and has since been a member of the Ontario Bar Association. Christina worked as an editor with First Reference between February 2005 and August 2015, working on publications including The Human Resources Advisor (Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions), HRinfodesk discussing topics in Labour and Employment Law. Christina has decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Western Ontario beginning in the fall of 2015. Read more
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