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The round table, titled “Balancing privacy with data sharing for the public good” was hosted by ASDO on June 23rd. The purpose of this meeting was to continue the efforts in enhancing cyber security and personal data protection within our country.
Representatives from media outlets, as well as Mr. Emirjon Marku, a National Expert on data protection, were brought together for this event. The round table received support from the Swiss Embassy in Albania for the project “Awareness on cyber security and protection of personal data.”
In today’s digital era, the media sector extensively deals with sensitive personal data and information. To better inform the public, journalists continuously aim to collect and share large amounts of information for a certain event. However, the sharing of this information introduces the challenge of sharing sensitive personal data. When sensitive data are stored and shared in digital formats, it is crucial for these media outlets to ensure that personal information remains secure and is not compromised through accidental deletion, unauthorized access, or cyber-attacks. Failure to protect this data can have severe consequences for individuals, thus bringing financial losses, lawsuits, and reputational damage.
The round table aimed to educate journalists and media representatives about the amendments to the law on personal data protection. It highlighted the importance of striking a balance between the responsibility to inform the public and the need to safeguard the personal data of individuals, particularly minors, in Albania.
It is essential for journalists to prioritize the protection of personal data of the subjects they interview. Journalists often gather sensitive information while reporting on various topics, and ensuring the confidentiality and security of this data is crucial for maintaining trust and respecting the privacy rights of individuals. By implementing robust data protection measures, journalists can minimize the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, or inadvertent disclosure of personal information. This includes using secure communication channels, encrypting sensitive data, and adopting privacy-conscious practices when handling and storing information. Additionally, journalists should stay informed about the evolving legal and regulatory landscape related to data protection to ensure compliance and best practices in their reporting activities. Safeguarding personal data not only preserves the rights of individuals but also upholds the integrity and professionalism of journalism as a whole.
The opening statement was delivered by Ms. Ada Ilia from the Albania Sustainable Development Organization, followed by a presentation from Mr. Emirjon Marku then engaged participants in discussions about data protection, risks and security, legal and operating procedures for the media sector, best practices, and some insight into what is considered personal or sensitive data and what kind of information is needed for the public good and this information can better protect journalists in their daily work. He concluded by offering suggestions on journalists to be informed on the legislation of personal data as well as the need for media outlets to appoint chief privacy officers and empowering them to establish stricter privacy practices to ensure compliance with Data Protection laws in Albania.
The round table concluded with a question and answer session, where participants inquired about collaborating with state institutions like the Information and Data Protection Commissioner. They also discussed the role of journalists in staying updated with amendments to the Data Protection law in Albania and shared personal and organizational experiences regarding data breaches and the protection of personal data of their subjects.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors.They do not reflect the opinions or views of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)