“Personal data protection is primarily a cultural issue”, says Commissioner Loizidou Nikolaidou

On February 21, an  open discussion was organised with the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection Ms Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou, at the UNESCO Amphitheatre of the University of Nicosia. The Dean of UNIC School of Law Prof. Achilles C. Emilianides addressed the event.

Ms Loizidou Nicolaidou presented important aspects of the Cypriot independent supervisory Authority for the protection of personal data, the relevant EU and Cypriot legislation, and explained the concept of personal data and the basic principles of personal data processing. The Commissioner pointed out that personal data protection is primarily a cultural issue; and culture constantly transforms due to a continuously changing environment.

She highlighted that her Office has a consultative, advisory, and guiding role, mainly with regard to the best possible understanding of personal data. Integral parts of this process are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the relevant Cypriot law, the principle of accountability, the relevance of the new rights established with the GDPR, and the respective weighting of conflicting rights.

The event was attended by students, academics, lawyers and the wider public, who asked many questions, expressed their opinions, and participated in a free discussion with the Commissioner, engaging in a constructive dialogue on multiple issues of personal data protection. The participants further expressed their concerns about the ability of GDPR to keep up with evolving new technologies and, especially the ability to protect personal data through the various applications of artificial intelligence.

The discussion was moderated by Dimitrios Koukiadis, Assistant Professor at UNIC School of Law.