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Data Privacy Day 2018

Angela M. Cooper

January 28th, 2018


On January 28th, 2018 the United States, and many other nations, celebrated National Data Privacy Day. The Data Protection Day celebration in Europe pre-dated the US and Canadian celebrations. Data Protection Day commemorates the signing of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108. The Convention was the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection in history. The treaty was signed and ratified by 51 nations including 9 non-Council of Europe members. While the US did not sign the treaty, they have enacted resolutions for there to be an official day of observance for Data Protection. This day of observance was established in 2009 by the 111th US Congress’ enactment of Senate resolution 25 and House resolution 31. The 2010 version, in Senate resolution 402, “[r]esolved[] that the Senate–


  • Supports the designation of a National Data Privacy Day;
  • Encourages State and local governments to observe the day with appropriate activities that promote awareness of data privacy;
  • Encourages educators and privacy professionals to discuss data privacy and protection issues with teens in high schools across the United States;
  • Encourages corporations to take steps to protect the privacy and security of the personal information of their clients and consumers, to design privacy into products they create where possible, and to promote trust in technologies;
  • Encourages individuals across the Nation to be aware of data privacy concerns and to take steps to protect their personal information.”


Since 2012 the National Cyber Security Alliance has led efforts to organize events and coordinate actions of those interested in celebrating Data Privacy Day. Their website, Stay Safe Online, has resources for individuals and information on how to get involved.


This year the call to action has led to a wide variety of actors, including government agencies, to provide resources towards the objectives. The United Stated Computer Emergency Readiness Team posted a release directing students to Stay Safe Online and other resources. This year, the day after Data Privacy Day the Federal Trade Commission launched a week of webinars on Tax Identity Theft Awareness. Many State governments and universities launched initiatives to inform citizens and encourage education on data privacy including in Mississippi, Idaho, Delaware, California, and New Jersey.  Google and Facebook prompted users to review their security features while offering tips and advice to keep their data safe. LinkedIn partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance to promote data privacy by hosting this year’s webinar from Stay Safe Online. In the wake of so many breaches and cybersecurity threats it is unlikely that these will be the only communications we hear on data privacy this year.

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