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GRA wins Global Privacy Assembly award

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority has this year won an international award for its Education and Public Awareness initiatives by the Global Privacy Assembly.

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.

The GPA is 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.

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 students included teaching all school students between the ages of 11 and 16 about privacy and data protection through presentations delivered by GRA staff.

There was also an annual survey which helps the GRA to learn about student behaviour in relation to data protection and privacy matters, and promotes engagement.

Another way was through educating the educators where 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.

As for adults, the GRA promotes and frequently holds ‘Data Protection Day’ as a public event in the city centre to engage directly with members of the public in order to generate and promote data protection awareness.

There is also cooperation with key stakeholders and the GRA invites other public authorities and relevant bodies to participate in its initiatives, and supports the initiatives of others, such as the Royal Gibraltar Police’s safer internet day video and the Gibraltar Citizens Advice Bureau’s awareness raising events in town.

On social media, the GRA operates a social media campaign to engage with the public and disseminate information. It has also developed and introduced short videos to promote guidance and address relevant topics.

The adults are also asked to engage in a survey and in 2020, the GRA carried out a Data Protection Survey amongst the general public, as well as issuing press releases.

“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,” a statement from the GRA read.  “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, Bradley Tosso, and the GRA’s CEO (ag),John Paul Rodriguez.”

While accepting the award, Mr Tosso said 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”.

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, the GRA said.

Promoting data protection and privacy awareness is a statutory function of the GRA, as Information Commissioner.

For further information in regard to the above, please contact the Information Commissioner’s office on +350 74636 or by email using: privacy@gra.gi

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