Hotel Steigenberger, Avenue Louise 71

Organised by OPC- Canada and UN Security Council and Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED)

How to effectively combat terrorism while adequately protecting privacy is a huge challenge. The importance of achieving both cannot be overstated.


The UN Security Council has, over the last 17 years, developed an extensive framework on counter-terrorism (CT) via its resolutions. Many of these resolutions cross into areas of interest for data protection authorities, including:
• Resolution 1373 (2001), which requires Member States to criminalize the financing of terrorism, exchange information on groups planning or preparing attacks, cooperate to bring terrorist to justice and put in place efficient border control measures.

• Resolution 2178 (2014) on foreign terrorist fighters, which encourages Member States to collect and analyse travel data and calls upon Member States to require that airlines provide them advance passenger information (API).

• Resolution 2396 (2017) on returnees, which calls upon Member States to share information on terrorists and to establish API and Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems. The resolution urges the International Civil Aviation Organization to establish a standard for the collection, use, processing and protection of PNR data and decides that Member States shall develop watch lists or databases of known and suspected terrorists for use by law enforcement, border security, customs, military, and intelligence agencies. The resolution also encourages Member States to share this information through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and decides that Member States shall develop and implement systems to collect biometric data in order to identify terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters. The resolution also calls for the improvement of international cooperation on legal access to digital data across borders.                 

The Counter-Terrorism-Committee and its Executive-Directorate (the CTED) are mandated by the UN Security Council to assess the implementation of the Security Council’s counter-terrorism framework by Member States and collect good practices in this area, in compliance with international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.

The requirements of the Security Council resolutions raise difficult issues related to privacy and the protection of individuals’ data. There is potentially a role for the ICDPPC to play in advancing discussions regarding privacy norms internationally and advising the CTED.

This side-event, co-organized by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on behalf of the ICDPPC Executive Committee, and the CTED, intends to discuss the challenges around privacy and data protection posed by the Security Council requirements, and the role of Data Protection Authorities in overseeing measures adopted by Governments and the private sector to comply with their CT obligations while complying with international human rights law and domestic law.

This event seeks to share experience and expertise among attendees on the intersection of CT and privacy protection, and begin the conversation about possible avenues for future collaboration between the ICDPPC and the UN CTED.

All Data Protection Authority delegates are invited to attend.

For further information and to RSVP, please contact Madelaine Saginur at