Embracing digital technologies in a transparent environment the only way to economic growth, says Petrides

Embracing digital technologies while creating a trusted, transparent and balanced environment, if possible with harmonized rules for Europe, is the only way to economic growth, Deputy Minister to the President, Constantinos Petrides has said.

Addressing the Spring Conference of Data Protection Authorities in Limassol on Thursday, Petrides said that the Cyprus Government has not only welcomed the relevant initiatives both at Council of Europe and at EU level, but it is actively involved in the process, having also in mind that Data Protection rules act as a catalyst for completing the Digital Single Market of the EU, something which should be considered as a top priority for us all.

According to Petrides, openness strengthens democracy, the institutions, and promotes efficiency and effectiveness in both within the Government and in the private sector. He said that as the Minister entrusted by the President the mandate for the Growth PLan of the Cypriot economy and the Reform of the Civil Service including the open public data policy, he truly believes that in modern life, Data is the king.

“We do live in a digital era, driven by technology and innovation. They are the main driving source of income and job creation. And technology and innovation is about connecting people and building communities through the use of data. Without data, there is no economy, no development, no innovation, he said.

Deputy Minister pointed out that there is a huge challenge the Data Protectors need to address and that is connecting people, technologies and businesses through the use of data accesses people’s lives and we need to protect people to this end.

He also referred to the necessity to make laws for determining how one can use personal data, adding that those laws should not stand in the way of business innovation or technological advancement but they should enhance and complement it with the necessary trust.

Petrides underlined that all parties involved, the Government, the Industry’ s stakeholders and the Data Protection Authorities should work together, try understand each other, and strike the right balance, design the necessary policy-prescription, adding that by doing so we will build the desired culture of data- confidence.

Cyprus Commissioner for Personal Data Protection Irene Nikolaides in her speech said that the main purpose of modernizing the Convention 108 on data protection is to address technological challenges in the areas of information and communications, to strengthen the monitoring mechanism for implementing the Convention, to adopt a multi-level framework, which is flexible, transparent but also robust. She also said that “we need to facilitate the free movement of information and data across borders, while at the same time providing effective guidelines against their abuse and the strengthening of cooperation between the Data Protection Authorities.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency