GRA Wins Global Privacy And Data Protection Award

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority has won an international award for its Education and Public Awareness initiatives. 

A statement from the GRA follows below: 

The  award was granted by the Global Privacy Assembly (the “GPA”) – one of the most  important global forums for data protection and privacy authorities, which comprises  of more than 130 data protection and privacy authorities from across the globe. 

The GRA’s entry titled “A layered and multi-pronged approach to awareness  raising”, which formed part of the ‘Education and Public Awareness’  category, won the GPA’s People’s Choice Award. 

Competing with the work of other authorities worldwide, such as the British, Polish,  French and Canadian Data Protection Authorities and the European Data Protection  Supervisor, the GRA’s nomination won the award following an open vote amongst the  GPA’s membership.  

The GRA’s entry focused on its “Control Your Privacy” campaign, which takes a layered  and multi-pronged approach to raising awareness about data protection law and  privacy. By combining traditional and modern outreach methods the GRA adapts its  awareness raising methods to target key sectors within the community, namely  children and adults. Key features relating to the awareness raising activities carried  out for each key target sector are outlined below. Further details with regards these  initiatives is available on the GRA’s website: 

  1. Students:

(a) All school students aged between 11 and 16 are taught about privacy  and data protection. GRA staff attend schools to deliver presentations on  data protection and privacy. These are followed by a question-and-answer  session. 

(b) Annual survey. A survey (undertaken annually) is conducted, with  corresponding reports published on the GRA’s website. The survey helps the  GRA to learn about student behaviour in relation to data protection and privacy  matters, and promotes engagement.  

(c) Educating the educators. The GRA developed educational resources, which  teachers can make use of to educate students on privacy and data protection.  The lesson plans adopt the International Framework developed by the GPA. 

  1. Adults

(a) Public events in the city centre. The GRA promotes and periodically  conducts a “Data Protection Day” in town to engage directly with members of  the public and thereby generate and promote data protection awareness. 

(b) Cooperation with key stakeholders. The GRA invites other public authorities and relevant bodies to participate in its initiatives, and supports the  initiatives of others (e.g., the Royal Gibraltar Police’s safer internet day video  and the Gibraltar Citizens Advice Bureau’s awareness raising events in town). 

(c) Social media. In-keeping with new technologies and online behaviour, the  GRA operates a social media campaign to engage with the public and  disseminate information.  

(d) Video. The GRA has introduced the creation and use of short eye-catching  videos into its awareness raising initiatives in order to promote its guidance and  address relevant topics via social media. 

(e) Survey: In 2020, the GRA carried out a Data Protection Survey amongst the  general public.  

(f) Press releases: Press releases are regularly issued noting the GRA’s activities. 

The key features of the GRA’s initiative are the combination of techniques to engage  with different key sectors of the community, including direct one-to-one engagement methods as well as mass communication techniques with the cooperation of  stakeholders, as appropriate, to promote a collective voice and action. 

Every year, the GPA’s Global Privacy and Data Protection Awards celebrate the  achievements of the GPA community. The GRA’s success was announced during the  GPA’s 43rd annual conference hosted virtually by INAI Mexico. 

In attendance at this year’s GPA conference were the GRA’s Director of Information  Rights and Operations, Mr. Bradley Tosso, and the GRA’s CEO (ag), Mr. John Paul  Rodriguez. In the GRA’s acceptance speech, Mr. Tosso highlighted the award was “a  symbol of the GPA’s success as a platform for international cooperation that is truly  inclusive” and that “education and awareness plays a fundamental role in the  improvement of privacy and data protection as it empowers individuals and society”.  

In addition, Mr. Rodriguez thanked the GPA on behalf of the GRA and emphasised that  “having the GRA’s work recognised at an international level is an achievement of great  value” adding that it is “both encouraging and humbling to learn that, through the  voting process, fellow GPA colleagues around the globe have expressed their  appreciation for our ongoing awareness-raising efforts”.  

Data protection and privacy awareness raising is internationally recognised as a key  function to ensure individuals, in particular children, are empowered in the new information and communications environment. Promoting data protection and privacy  awareness is a statutory function of the GRA, as Information Commissioner.