ADGM gains observer status in the 'Consultative Committee of Convention 108'

ABU DHABI, 11th July, 2018 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, has been granted observer status to the Consultative Committee of Convention 108, at its Plenary Meeting of 19th-21st June 2018 in Strasbourg, France. The engagement will be headed by ADGM’s Registration Authority (RA), the data protection regulator of ADGM.

Convention 108, entitled the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, sets out principles regarding the protection of automated personal data files and automatic processing of personal data in the public and private sectors.

Convention 108 is the only binding treaty with the objective of safeguarding personal data on a global scale. The committee exceeds 50 member countries and over 25 observers. Recently, amendments to modernise the convention were adopted to further strengthen its effectiveness in handling privacy challenges resulting from developments in information technology and to strengthen the implementation of the Convention within its members.

ADGM is the first Arab jurisdiction in the Middle East to become an observer. This development follows ADGM RA being granted membership into the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) in March 2018. As an observer, ADGM RA will have the opportunity to engage and participate in meetings held by the consultative community. ADGM will have the privilege to participate in dialogue with other members, observers and experts concerning international standards on issues like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, processing of genetic data, privacy on the internet, etc. and on recent trends, challenges in the field, modernisation of data processing and current initiatives to reinforce the privacy of individuals.

Being an observer strengthens ADGM RA’s ability to raise awareness and ensure best practice on data protection in ADGM. Observer status will also aid in promoting the concept of utilising a global standard for personal data protection such as the convention 108 to increase coherence with other relevant frameworks and governing bodies. The data protection regulator of ADGM will also coordinate with the committee to facilitate cross border communications and cooperate in the exchange of information including applicable laws and administrative practices.

Dhaher Bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the ADGM Registration Authority said, "The rapid evolution of information technology has significantly changed the landscape of doing business and it coincides with the requirement to have regulations in place to protect the data of users. By being granted observer status to the Consultative Committee of Convention 108, ADGM has the opportunity to participate in this unique forum and further develop ADGM’s commitment to data protection and upholding the privacy rights of individuals."

ADGM’s progressive data protection regime is a key element in ADGM’s high standing and integrity as an international financial centre. Engagement and membership with key international bodies such as the Consultative Committee to Convention 108, play an integral role in bolstering ADGM’s position as a regional leader among the international community of data protection and privacy.


WAM/Rasha Abubaker