Adoption by the Committee of Convention 108 of the Guidelines on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by and for political campaigns


Elections in most countries have become increasingly ‘data driven’. The “political influence industry” operates in many countries and now allows campaigns to profile the electorate with increasing precision. Political micro-targeting is not only about political engagement, it can also lead to voter suppression.

International data protection instruments, such as Convention 108 and its modernized version – Convention 108 + ”- are increasingly important in supporting the broad democratic principles of pluralism and individual autonomy, and apply solid principles of data protection. data that help strengthen the integrity of elections and maintain confidence in democracy in the digital age. Convention 108+ is explicitly anchored in a general objective “to guarantee human dignity and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of each individual”. The protection of the right to privacy in political campaigns is crucial for the conduct of free and fair elections, as expressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the principles of freedom of expression and of freedom of expression. ‘strong public debate in offline and online media.

On this basis, the Convention 108 Committee adopted Guidelines on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by and for political campaigns with the aim of providing practical advice to supervisory authorities, regulators and political organizations on how to reconcile the privacy rights of the voter with the democratic obligations of political campaigns to communicate with the electorate. The Guidelines show how the processing of personal data for political campaigning purposes should be in line with the modernized Council of Europe Convention 108+ and provide a framework through which data protection and data protection authorities other regulators can provide more specific guidance tailored to the unique political, institutional and cultural conditions of their own democratic states.


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