European Treaty Series - No. 108

Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic
Processing of Personal Data
Strasbourg, 28.I.1981

The member States of the Council of Europe, signatory hereto,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its
members, based in particular on respect for the rule of law, as well as human rights and
fundamental freedoms;
Considering that it is desirable to extend the safeguards for everyone's rights and
fundamental freedoms, and in particular the right to the respect for privacy, taking account of
the increasing flow across frontiers of personal data undergoing automatic processing;
Reaffirming at the same time their commitment to freedom of information regardless of
Recognising that it is necessary to reconcile the fundamental values of the respect for privacy
and the free flow of information between peoples,
Have agreed as follows:
Chapter I – General provisions
Article 1 – Object and purpose
The purpose of this Convention is to secure in the territory of each Party for every individual,
whatever his nationality or residence, respect for his rights and fundamental freedoms, and in
particular his right to privacy, with regard to automatic processing of personal data relating to
him ("data protection").
Article 2 – Definitions
For the purposes of this Convention:

"personal data" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual
("data subject");


"automated data file" means any set of data undergoing automatic processing;


"automatic processing" includes the following operations if carried out in whole or in part
by automated means: storage of data, carrying out of logical and/or arithmetical
operations on those data, their alteration, erasure, retrieval or dissemination;

Select target paragraph3