The Republic of Mauritius today became the second non-European state – after Uruguay in 2013 – to ratify the Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, also known as “Convention 108”, and its Additional Protocol, taking the total number of states parties to the treaty to 49.
The Privacy Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius, Drudeisha Madhub, deposited the accession documents in the presence of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, during an international conference held in Strasbourg under the theme “Convention 108: from a European reality to a global treaty”.
Another three countries – Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia – have already been invited to accede to the treaty and will most likely be the next countries to become parties. Cape Verde has taken the first steps to accede to the convention.
The treaty will enter into force in respect of the Republic of Mauritius on 1 October 2016.
“Convention 108” is the only existing international treaty which grants individuals the right to the protection of their personal data, aiming also to prevent any abuses which may accompany the processing of these data. Being open to signature by any country, it is the only binding standard which has the potential to be applied worldwide, providing legal certainty and predictability in international personal data transfers.
“Convention 108” has become the backbone of personal data protection legislation in Europe and beyond. Opened for signature in 1981, it was drafted in a technologically neutral style, which enables its provisions to be fully valid today, regardless of technological developments. The text is currently being updated to ensure that its data protection principles are still valid for new tools and practices.
An additional protocol requires each party to establish an independent authority to ensure compliance with data protection principles and lays down rules on trans-border data flows.