On 28 January, an online conference on the introduction of data protection into the higher education curriculum in Georgia concludes a public information campaign launched by Georgia’s State Inspector’s Service (SIS) to mark Data Protection Day.
Supported by the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the week-long campaign engaged state agencies, civil society, schools and citizens and covered a wide array of topics, from processing health-related information and using social media to launching new educational programmes in data protection.
“It’s vital to inform citizens, as well as the public and private sectors, about safeguarding and protecting our personal data,” said State Inspector Londa Toloraia. “To achieve this, the Government of Georgia is taking measures to improve the legal environment and introduce international best practices.”
As part of this effort, the position of Personal Data Protection Officer will be created in private and public institutions under a new law, “On Personal Data Protection,” that the SIS submitted to Parliament in 2019. Once in force, this will ensure that each organisation designates an official for personal data protection. The new law will also align Georgia with EU standards for data protection.
Besides, several Georgian universities have signed a memorandum with the SIS to introduce new educational programmes in data protection and create more opportunities in this field for Georgian students. At an online conference attended by Government, EU and UN representatives, the Georgian National University and the State Inspector’s Service also awarded the winners of an essay contest aimed at increasing data protection awareness among students.
Other events on 22-28 January included an online conference for students and a photo contest for school children, a live Facebook session by the State Inspector on protecting privacy while using the Internet, and the release of SIS reports on processing health-related information and protecting personal data of children.
The EU, UNDP and OHCHR have been supporting personal data protection in Georgia since 2013, when the Office of the Personal Data Protection Inspector (the legal predecessor of the State Inspector’s Service) was established.
EU and UN support to the SIS will continue until 2023, under an EU-funded €2.5 million programme ‘Human Rights for All’, aimed at promoting and protecting human rights in Georgia.
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