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CERN marks Data Protection Day with EMBL, ESA and ESO


Data privacy day
(Image: CERN)

On 28 January, CERN teamed up again with fellow EIROforum organisations EMBL, ESA and ESO to deliver a thought-provoking online event on the 16th Data Protection Day.

The event was attended by over 350 participants, who enjoyed engaging presentations on the practical challenges of managing the use of data in COVID-19 research to allow the world to react quickly and effectively to a pandemic, as well as examples of the ways in which data protection is starting to drive choices of IT security tools. Attendees were also reminded of the importance of ensuring that our devices' technical tools continue to evolve to protect our data, without compromising the overall user experience.

One of the key messages from the event was that:“Personal data of all types is valuable to somebody!”

During the closing remarks, CERN’s Data Privacy Adviser highlighted the very welcome change in mindset around data privacy, noting that the activities of the four organisations indicated that data protection is becoming an integrated and essential part of scientific projects and can even be an enabler of research.

This valuable opportunity for the CERN community to exchange views and discuss best practices across different scientific organisations was an excellent complement to the important work that is already taking place here at CERN. The Office of Data Privacy (ODP) continues to ensure that CERN adopts best practices for handling personal data, in line with Operational Circular 11 “The processing of personal data at CERN” (OC11). The ODP is supported by the Data Privacy Coordination Committee (DPCC), which, with its nominated departmental representatives, is ensuring a coherent and harmonised implementation of the rights and obligations set out in OC11

If you were unable join the Data Protection Day event live, you can still watch the recording available on CDS and CERNbox.

Our warm thanks to the CERN ODP and representatives from EMBL, ESA and ESO for organising this excellent event, which is becoming a regular fixture to help CERN participate in the worldwide celebration of Data Protection Day.

To learn more about data privacy at CERN, don’t forget to sign up for the mandatory online data privacy training course and keep up to date on all data privacy initiatives via the ODP website.