In a July 9, 2012 press release issued by Rodoljub Sabic, Serbia’s Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, the Commissioner commented on his meeting with Hunton & Williams’ Lisa Sotto, who was invited to Serbia by the Commissioner and the USAID-funded Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project to provide advice and education on data protection issues.

Training about personal data protection by world and European experts

Monday, July 09, 2012 09:18

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Rodoljub Sabic, has met today with Lisa Sotto, one of the leading US and world lawyers specialized in data protection and privacy and the Chair of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

The Commissioner organized this US expert’s visit in cooperation and with the assistance of the USAID with the aim of providing much needed, continuous and quality education of our staff about many ongoing data protection issues. Considering Lisa Sotto’s visit and engagement, as well as her participation in a seminar organized for the staff employed in those government bodies where personal data processing has a special role, as very important, Rodoljub Sabic stated the following:

“As a Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection I have been continuously warning that we as a state are facing serious problems in the area of data protection, and that we are practically at the very beginning, being largely disadvantaged even compared to many countries in the region. We need to change this situation.

We have yet to do so much in the legislative field, primarily by adoption of a whole array of new legislation and secondary legislation solutions.

We have much to do in terms of creating assumptions needed for the audit of the implementation of new data protection standards, in other words, to build the normative authority as well as staffing, logistics and other resources needed in order for the institution of the Commissioner to be operational in this area.

But, definitely we need to work hardest in the area of education. To educate both the widest circles of the citizens and, in particular, people who are working in institutions whose activities imply intense, robust or delicate personal data processing.

A seminar organized by the Commissioner, together with the USAID, featuring, in addition to Lisa Sotto my colleague, a Slovenian Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, Natasa Pirc-Musar, also an undisputed authority in Europe, is intended primarily for people representing government bodies, such as the Ministry of the Interior (MUP), the Security Information Agency (BIA), the Military Security Agency (VBA), the Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ombudsperson’s Office. I am convinced that the seminar will be a useful step forward on the road ahead of us. I will try and provide other numerous events similar to this one. But, I’d like to point out that education must not end with the Commissioner’s activities. All government agencies are obliged to continuously educate their staff and train them to apply new standards which have been included in our legal system.”

Download a copy of the press release.