1822 Oct

Data Protection Officer (DPO) Humanitarian Action Certification

  18-22 October 2021, Mexico City (MEX)
  1-5 November 2021, Dakar (SEN)

Protecting individuals' personal data is an integral part of protecting their life and dignity. This is why personal data protection is of fundamental importance for humanitarian organizations. Recent developments in new technologies have meant that the processing of ever-increasing quantities of personal data in an interconnected world has become easier and faster, and this has given rise to enormous opportunities to make the work of humanitarian organisations more effective and efficient, in the interest of the people they serve. This, however, has also given rise to concerns about the possible harm and harmful unintended consequences generated by such new technologies and intrusion into the private sphere of individuals and to regulatory efforts worldwide to respond to these concerns.

The European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity (ECPC), Maastricht University Faculty of Law and the Data Protection Office at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC DPO), in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Centre for Humanitarian Data, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) offer this training and certification programme specifically designed for Data Protection Officers in Humanitarian Action.

Background

The Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action has been published as part of the Data Protection in Humanitarian Action project, organized jointly by the Brussels Privacy Hub, an academic research centre of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium, and the ICRC Data Protection Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

The content of the handbook was developed in a series of workshops held in Brussels and Geneva in 2015–2016, with representatives from humanitarian organizations, data protection authorities and privacy commissioners in the framework of their work pursuant to the 2015 Resolution of the International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners on “Privacy and International Humanitarian Action”, academics, non-governmental organizations, researchers, civil society, tech companies and other experts. They came together to address questions of common concern in the application of data protection in humanitarian action, particularly with respect to new technologies. Its second edition, released and launched in 2020, builds on this and adds  guidance on the responsible use of additional technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, digital identity connectivity as aid, and use of social media. The handbook also furthers the discussion launched by the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' (ICDPPC's) Resolution on “Privacy and International Humanitarian Action” adopted in Amsterdam in 2015, and the Resolution on “the role of personal data protection in international development aid, international humanitarian aid and crisis management”.

It is not intended to replace compliance with applicable legal norms, or with data protection rules, policies and procedures that a particular organization may have adopted. Rather, the handbook seeks to raise awareness and assist humanitarian organizations in ensuring that they comply with personal data protection standards when carrying out humanitarian activities, by providing specific guidance on the interpretation of data protection principles for humanitarian action, particularly when new technologies are employed.

During the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in December 2019 a clear call emerged for Data Protection literacy and standards to be disseminated more broadly and effectively within the Movement. In response to this call, a training curriculum has been developed building on the Handbook. The European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity (ECPC), Maastricht University Faculty of Law and the Data Protection Office at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC DPO), in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Centre for Humanitarian Data, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), offer this training and certification programme specifically designed for Data Protection Officers in Humanitarian Action. This course is made possible with the support of the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.