40 years of data protection and many more to come: Convention 108 and 108+


  • Vincent Manancourt


  • Fanny Hidvegi
  • Ulrich Kelber
  • Alastair Mactaggart
  • Sophie in ‘t Veld
  • Joe Cannataci

Organisation: Council of Europe

Room: Online 2

Timing: 18:30 - 19:45 on 28 January 2021

Data protection day marks an important celebration this year. The Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (more commonly known as “Convention 108”) celebrates its 40th anniversary. 40 years later, it counts 55 Parties from Africa, Latin-America and Europe, and is still the only legally binding multilateral instrument on the protection of privacy and personal data open to any country in the world.

Looking back at those 40 years, the normative developments deriving from Convention 108 are immense and need to be acknowledged. Looking ahead, this landmark instrument has recently been modernised to better match the new realities of an increasingly connected world and to strengthen its effective implementation. The Convention aimed at delivering two essential objectives: facilitating data flows and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including human integrity and dignity. Has it lived up to its promises and what is its role at global level in the digital age?

• The Modus operandi of data protection in Convention 108
• Convention 108: utopist vision or achieved objective?
• An element of response to the contemporary transborder data flows dialectic?
• 108+ : cosmetic or functional?


Vincent Manancourt

Journalist Politico (BE)

Vincent Manancourt is a technology reporter for POLITICO, based in Brussels. Prior to this, he was the deputy editor of Global Data Review in London where he covered the evolving regulatory and policy framework around data. He previously wrote about a range of topics such as global tax transparency measures, corruption in the legal profession and law firm strategy for a specialist legal publication. He has also written for the Financial Times and Luxembourg Times, Luxembourg’s main English-language newspaper. He has a degree in mathematics from the University of Edinburgh and a journalism master’s from City, University of London.


Fanny Hidvegi

Access Now (BE)

Fanny Hidvegi is Access Now’s Europe Policy Manager based in Brussels. Fanny is on the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on Freedom of Expression and Digital Technologies, and on the board of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. Fanny is an Obama Foundation Europe Leader, a Marshall Memorial Fellow. She was International Privacy Fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. Fanny led the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Program of the HCLU. She also worked as a consumer protection lawyer in the public and private sector.

Ulrich Kelber

Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (DE)

Member of the German Bundestag since September 2000, won a directly-elected seat in the Bonn constituency in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017.
2005-2013: Deputy chairman of the parliamentary group of the SPD in the Bundestag, responsible for the areas of the environment, nature conservation, nuclear safety, food, agriculture, consumer protection, sustainability.
2013-2018: Parlamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
2019: Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Alastair Mactaggart

Californians for Consumer Privacy (US)

Alastair is Board Chair and Co-Founder of Californians for Consumer Privacy and in 2018 created and led a ballot measure which resulted in the California Consumer Privacy Act. In 2020, Alastair wrote the California Privacy Rights Act, which 9.4 million Californians voted to enact in the November election, giving Californians among the best privacy rights in the world. Alastair believes that everyone should have the fundamental right of data privacy and be in control of their own personal information. He believes it’s not right that companies you’ve never heard of, can buy and sell information about you, and that you have no control over that process. He believes that parents should have a choice about how their children’s data is collected and sold.

Sophie in ‘t Veld


Sophie in 't Veld has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004. She is a member of the Renew Europe Group and serves as the parliamentary leader of the delegation of the social-liberal Dutch political party Democrats 66 (D66). In 't Veld has built a profile around a number of priorities: privacy and data protection, fundamental rights, rule of law, migration and asylum. As regards privacy and data protection, she is the liberals' shadow rapporteur on the (implementation of the) GDPR and ePrivacy Regulation.
Furthermore, In 't Veld is Renew Europe's coordinator in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and chairs its Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG).

Joe Cannataci

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy (INT)

Joe Cannataci is the first ever UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy. He is head of the Department of Information Policy & Governance at the University of Malta. He also co-founded and is Co-director of STeP, Security, Technology & e-Privacy Research Group at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he is Full Professor, holding the Chair of European Information Policy & Technology Law . A Fellow of the British Computer Society and UK Chartered Information technology Professional he is adjunct Professor at the Security Research Institute Edith Cowan University Australia. A Senior Fellow & Associate Researcher at CNAM Security-Defense-Intelligence Department, Paris, he was decorated by France as Officier de l'Ordre de Palmes Academiques.