Personal Data Protection (PDP)
Protection of privacy still represents a relatively new concept in Serbia. Although the right to protection of personal data is one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the basic legal framework in the Republic of Serbia was established in October 2008, with the adoption of the Law on Personal Data Protection. This Law introduces a broad range of duties for a large number of subjects.
From November 2010, Partners Serbia took an active part in promoting the right to privacy, awareness raising and capacity building of data controllers and civil society organizations for effective implementation of the Law and the protection of personal data in accordance with the highest international standards. Through cooperation of Partners Serbia with the office of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and other organizations, several projects have been conducted and a series of activities performed:
- As part of the project supported by the Open Society Foundation Serbia (OSF), on 28th of January 2011, a conference was organized for the first time in Serbia to mark the International Personal Data Protection Day and the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. Furthermore, a variety of promotional activities was organized, a number of seminars and panel discussions were held for representatives of state authorities, local self-government, organizational units and the Ministry of Interior, civil society organizations, media organizations and journalists’ associations and centers for social work; within the project supported by the EU Delegation in Serbia and OSF. Finally, International Personal Data Protection Day was once again marked on 30th of January 2012.
- With the support of USAID media program IREX, trainings for media organizations and journalists’ associations were organized during 2011 and 2012.
- With the support of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia (DEU) and Open Society Foundation Serbia, two specialized trainings were organized for 40 representatives of civil society organizations to build capacity for the implementation of the Law in practice, and training for monitoring, advocacy for effective implementation of the Law, and provision of legal aid to citizens in this area;
- In January 2013. Partners Serbia developed and launched the website to open public discussion on importance of protection of privacy in modern society and to raise citizens’ awareness about the existing mechanisms of protection of privacy and personal data. Moreover, this website may be of use for personal data controllers to learn about their duties as stipulated by relevant legislation. The website is developed in cooperation with The Network of the Committees for Human Rights in Serbia (CHRIS), within the project „Personal Data Protection as a Basic Human Right“. The project is supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and the Fund for an Open Society in Serbia.
- With the support of the DEU a number of promotional activities were organized in 6 cities in Serbia and an electronic newsletter was launched to promote privacy and awareness of the need for a comprehensive implementation of the Law. International Personal Data Protection Day was marked on 28th of January 2013 for the third time consecutively.
- In April 2013 Partners Serbia and CHRIS Network presented a six-month research on the implementation of the Law on Personal Data Protection in practice. The aim of this research, with the results presented in this report, was to examine whether selected personal data controllers comply with the provisions of the Law, the Commissioner’s decisions, and whether they improve their internal procedures for personal data processing, in order to protect the privacy of their customers, clients and employees. The research included 51 data controllers from eight cities and municipalities within the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Results of the research are presented in the Analysis of Implementation of Personal Data Protection Law. The project is funded by USAID program JRGA and DEU.