Argentina Invited to Accede to Convention 108

November 30, 2017

On its 1295th meeting held on September 27, 2017, the Committee of Ministers of the Statute of the Council of Europe agreed to Argentina’s request to be invited to accede to Convention No 108 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. 

At the beginning of 2017 the Argentine Government formally informed the European authorities of its wish to accede to Convention 108, a 1981 Council of Europe treaty that protects the right to privacy of individuals.

This Convention is the first binding international instrument which protects individual privacy against abuses on the collection and processing of personal data. The Convention also preserves the individual's right to know whether information is stored on him or her and, if necessary, to have it corrected. Similarly to Argentine Law, the Convention also imposes some restrictions on cross-border flows of personal data to States where legal regulation does not provide equivalent protection.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe considered the opinion of the Consultative Committee to accept the request of the Argentine Government. In that opinion, and after analyzing the main provisions of Argentine Personal Data Protection Law No. 25,326 vis-a-vis Convention 108, the Consultative Committee concluded that the Argentine Law is in full compliance with the provisions of Convention 108. Accordingly, based on its analysis of the applicable data protection legislation, the Consultative Committee considered that the request from Argentina to be invited to accede to Convention 108 should be given a favorable response.

The Committee of Ministers of the Statute of the Council of Europe may invite any State which is not a member of the Council of Europe to accede to this Convention by a decision. Consequently, Argentina is the eighth non-member state of the Council of Europe invited to accede, after Uruguay, Morocco, Mauritius, Senegal, Tunisia, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso.

The Convention enters into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. This decision to invite Argentina to accede to Convention No. 108 is valid five years as from its adoption (i.e. September 27, 2017).

It should also be considered that in 2003 the European Commission adopted decision 2003/490/EC which recognizes the adequacy of measures taken by Argentina in respect of protection for personal data.