On 28 January 1981, exactly 40 years ago, the Convention 108 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of the Council of Europe came into force. The Council of Europe took the initiative and declared 28 January Data Protection Day, that is currently celebrated in numerous countries around the world.

The still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented threat to humanity in all possible aspects – health, economy, culture. One of the challenges facing the world in the context of the increased use of digital technologies is the protection of information and in particular the protection of people’s personal data.  A proper understanding of the risks, guarantees and rights associated with the processing and protection of personal data is needed, more than ever before.

On 28 January 2021, the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria (CPDP) marks the Data Protection Day once again with a number of events, as well as the launching of initiatives aimed at raising the awareness of citizens and establishing an inner value system with regard to the better understanding of personal data processing policies.

Traditionally, from 11:00 to 12:30 experts from the Bulgarian supervisory authority would welcome data controllers, as well as citizens and will answer all the questions they might have. The entrance to the building of the CPDP will be carried out in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures.

Moreover, the launch of a survey for data controllers from the private sector will be announced, aiming at obtaining information on their readiness to use the skills of people with disadvantages.

Another traditional Data Protection Day event is the annual award for journalism. Traditionally, a formal reception is organized for the employees of the supervisory authority, however this year only the Chairman and a representative of the award-winning media will be present.

In addition, a digital Tool for Self-assessment of the Small and Medium Enterprises for their compliance with the General Regulation on Personal Data Protection will be presented through the CPDP website. It was developed under the SMEDATA project – „Ensuring the highest level of protection of privacy and personal data through innovative tools for small and medium enterprises and citizens”. After the successful implementation of the project, the CPDP participates as a coordinator in the continuation of the initiative – the SMEDATA II project, the implementation of which began in January 2021.

Video greeting of the EDPB on the occasion of the Data Protection Day