ETS no. 108 - Council of Europe

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ETS no. 108 convention was initiated by the Council of Europe in 1981. Its aim is to propose a convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

The basic outline of the convention is as follows;

Chapter 1 - General Provisions

Chapter 2 - Basic Principles for Data Protection

Chapter 3 - Trans Border Data Flows

Chapter 4 - Mutual Assistance (refers to co-operation between parties, assistance to subjects living abroad, and refusal of assistance issues)

Chapter 5 - Consultative Committee

Chapter 6 - Ammendments

Chapter 7 - Final Clauses

The convention as it applies to Data Security is as follows;

Appropriate security measures shall be taken for the protection of personal data stored in automated data files against accidental or unauthorised destruction or accidental loss as well as against unauthorised access, alteration or dissemination.

Personal data includes;

  • Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
  • Racial origins
  • Criminal convictions
  • Political opinion
  • Religious beliefs
  • Health
  • Sexual life

Major publications

ETS no.108, can be found at the following link.


Compliance is not enforced, other than where local laws come into effect. The main purpose of the convention is to provide guidance.


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