The organizers of the award – Russian Privacy Professionals Association (RPPA), Digital Rights Center and RosKomSvoboda… These are organizations that work in the field of privacy protection. RPPA is an association of experts on the protection of personal data, Digital Rights Center is a law firm that works in the field of digital law, including on privacy issues, and RosKomSvoboda is a non-profit organization that protects the rights of citizens in the digital space and the right to privacy – one of the most important areas of their work.
What is RPPA?
The organizer of the award is the Russian Privacy Professionals Association, an organization uniting experts in the field of privacy. Christina Borovikova, co-founder of RPPA, talks about the creation of the organization and the idea of creating an award:
“RPPA is an association of privacy specialists from all over Russia, an expert group and a community where you can exchange information and knowledge. The idea of creating an organization arose after the introduction of the GDPR, when many questions arose at once on the enforcement of the Regulation. At the same time, everyone had to figure it out on their own, share opinions at closed events and look for like-minded people himself. Then such events became more open and attended, and RPPA soon emerged. The Association has existed for over a year, there are more than 260 members, and the organization’s website contains a database of legal materials related to legislation on the protection of privacy in various spheres of our life.
It is strange that the prize has not appeared until now, although privacy issues have been in front of us in Russia for a long time. Experts need to be motivated, they need public approval, they need to be told about their work. There are many experts, material developers, enthusiasts in Russia who are ready to work and create analytics on the topic of privacy even for free, and we should be grateful to them for their work.
Privacy is now needed not only by DPO (Data Privacy Office), but also by other professionals and ordinary users. Process compliance has grown into an engine, and the market is now developing itself. “
Why is privacy important?
The pandemic has exposed already existing privacy problems and showed how much sensitive data the state can collect about us. Geolocation data, data obtained from applications such as Social Monitoring, data from CCTV cameras in the city. At the same time, we see that problems with the protection of personal data exist in all Russian institutions: both on the part of the state that collects our data, and on the part of business, for which the obligation to protect users’ personal information is often an inconvenient and problematic topic, and for public and political organizations have only recently begun to gain momentum.
In a world where leaks occur every day, it is important to draw public attention to the issue of data privacy and work to protect it. Unfortunately, we regularly face data security problems in various areas of our life: leaks of operators’ databases, hacks, sale of data from the face recognition system. At the same time, in Russia there remains a rather mild punishment for violations in the field of data processing (although we are moving towards tightening it) and a not very developed culture of privacy in principle. Now Data Privacy Officer appears in European companies – specialists who regulate data protection issues in companies. In Russia, this is just beginning to appear, and more and more companies are beginning to regulate such processes within the company. Public attention to the problem of protecting personal information is also growing, more and more media are discussing data leaks and data leaks. There is a request from society for the correct regulation of the scope of collection and circulation of personal data, for obtaining more expert information about this.
The life of each of us is built from a certain set of data. For the state system, we are the set of data, with the combination of which we are identified. This data may be confidential or publicly available, but in any case, society should have mechanisms to regulate the processing of personal data and we should know who collects it and why. Building mechanisms for protecting privacy in companies and society as a whole, sharing expert information about privacy – all this is extremely important for building a truly rule-of-law state, since the right to privacy is a very important right, non-observance of which can lead to serious consequences.
Problems of using personal data, topical for Russia
The centralization of data collection, which is now taking place on the part of the state (the emergence of a unified digital profile, biometric system), requires an increase in the expertise on the part of society and the specialized community. And at the moment in Russia there is no independent body for the protection of privacy, but it is needed.
For Russia, most of the privacy issues mentioned earlier are relevant. In particular, these are leaks of user data: from operators, law enforcement officers (a case with the sale of data from cameras with face recognition), other operators of personal data, excessive collection of citizens’ data by the state. The state seeks to accumulate as much data as possible, even if there is no direct need for this. This can infringe on the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as possible data leaks, which are collected at once in one database. There are also new challenges emerging with the development of digital technologies. Where is the line between private and public? Big data regulation is also a big problem. The question arises with the processing of impersonal data that are accumulated from open sources, there is legal uncertainty, as it was, for example, in the case of the social network “Vkontakte” against “Double Data”. And, of course, a big problem is the lack of privacy in many cultures as respect for other people’s data and understanding of the value of their own.
Prospects for the Prize and the Development of Privacy in Russia
In Russia, more and more companies and citizens are starting to think about the protection of personal data. Expert communities appear that are engaged in the analysis of problems, tracking foreign trends. The legislator also began to pay attention to these problems, so now amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation are being discussed. The key is that users themselves have begun to think more often about ways to protect their privacy rights. Unfortunately, government mechanisms for protecting personal data are far from perfect. Business sometimes takes over this part of the work, and some data protection and reputation services can be obtained independently, in a separate order. The urgency of drawing attention to privacy issues is increasing, and professionals working with the protection of personal data are becoming more in demand.
An application for participation in the award can be submitted until December 6 on the website: rppa.ru/awards/start