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Right to be forgotten vs. right to remember – Proceedings

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30/01/2019 - Research - Archives management - Publications - National Archives of Belgium

On 10 October 2016, the Belgian State Archives organised a congress about the impact of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on the core activities of archive services and on their relationship with citizens and users. Eminent speakers from abroad, senior public servants, legal practitioners and archivists with in-depth expert knowledge and international experience reflected on the priorities of archive services, on issues and opportunities to live up to criteria such as accessibility, reliability, authenticity and completeness, but also on tools and procedures to defend and facilitate the very important right to information. The congress proceedings are now available!

The General Data Protection Regulation is applicable throughout the European Union since 25 May 2018; it guarantees better protection of personal data and gives individuals more rights regarding their personal data, including the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’.

Since the GDPR recognises that, in the long term, society will nevertheless benefit from permanent preservation of certain personal data, an explicit provision was allowed for archiving purposes in the public interest. Derogations will be admitted, if safeguards are provided.

What are the challenges of the GDPR for archive services and archivists? What are the new rules they will have to deal with? Which priorities should archive services have? To which extent will archives still be able to meet criteria such as accessibility, reliability, authenticity, and completeness? Which current procedures will eventually have to be adapted, and how? Will archive services have to readjust their procedures for the appraisal and valorisation of archives, for the acquisition, intellectual control and accessibility of archives?

And what about the impact of the GDPR impact on the relationship between archive services and citizens and users, i.e. academics, students, occasional visitors, local researchers, genealogists, persons seeking justice… Which changes these people will have to take into account?

How can archive services best defend and facilitate the very important right to information? Which tools do they have to promote the right to know, for instance within a legal framework, through communication and advocacy strategies, guidelines and procedures, etc.?

On 10 October 2016, the State Archives in Belgium organised a congress to address these and related issues and in which eminent speakers from abroad, senior public servants, legal practitioners and archivists with in-depth expert knowledge and international experience took part.

Proceedings

  • VAN HONACKER Karin (ed.), The Right to be forgotten vs the Right to remember. Data protection and archiving in the public interest, ASP Editions, Brussels, € 29,95.

Contributions to this edited volume by Joëlle Jouret and Willem Debeuckelaere (Data Protection Authority, Belgium), Patrick Van Eecke and Peter Craddock (DLA Piper), Andrea Hänger (Bundesarchiv, Germany), Hervé Lemoine and Bruno Ricard (Service Interministériel des Archives de France), Agnieszka Jędrzak (Institute of National Remembrance, Poland), Giulia Barrera (Directorate General of Archives, Italy), Dirk Luyten (CegeSoma/State Archives, Belgium), Florent Thouvenin and Kento Reutimann (Center for Information Technology, Society, and Law – University of Zurich, Switzerland), with a preface by Karin Van Honacker and Karel Velle (State Archives, Belgium).

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