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Best of GMF 2014

Clear rules needed to protect privacy

Thorbjørn Jagland will speak at the 2014 Global Media Forum in Bonn. In a keynote speech at this year’s Global Media Forum, Norwegian politician Thorbjørn Jagland will discuss data security and privacy protection.

Torbjörn Jagland

Jagland served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1996 to 1997 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2000 to 2001. Since 2009 he has served as Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. He is also a familiar figure at the Global Media Forum in Bonn. In 2011 he opened the conference with a widely publicized speech on the preservation of human rights, which he described as “the most transformative force in changing the world.” Jagland said, “We have freedom of speech because we are people.”

That statement applies equally to the conference theme in 2014, “From Information to Participation - Challenges for the Media." From June 30 to July 2, the international media congress will explore the extent to which the right to freedom of expression is negotiable, what its limits are, and when these are overstepped, with the danger of private data becoming public property. Jagland has told Deutsche Welle that the Council of Europe is updating its Data Protection Convention, saying, “We … believe it could be a universal model to ensure a proper balance between privacy, security and information-sharing.” As technology gallops ahead, he said, “We need to take seriously fears that the rapid growth of the Internet and mobile communications might erode our privacy. Only by guaranteeing the protection and respect for human rights – online and offline – will people trust and feel confident in a hyper-connected world.” To achieve that goal, “Clear rules are needed,” he said with emphatic conviction.