In October, representatives of the Data State Inspectorate (hereinafter – DSI) travelled to Kosovo’s capital Pristina to engage as experts in the technical assistance and information exchange (TAEIX) project of the European Commission. The aim of this project is to provide the necessary support to a number of countries, including Kosovo, Türkiye, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and others, in order to promote the correct application and enforcement of European Union law. This initiative also includes an exchange of valuable experiences on good practices applied in EU Member States. Representatives of the DSI shared their experience with the Kosovo Information and Privacy Agency on data protection in the telecommunications, financial, education and health sectors.

From 2 to 4 October, Lauris Linabergs, Deputy Head of the Prevention Division and Ketija Žubure, Legal Adviser at the Supervisory Division, participated in a TAIEX expert mission dedicated to the study of inspection procedures and personal data protection issues in the telecommunications and financial sector. Experts shared their experience on topics such as “Security Aspects of Data Processing”, “International Data Transfer and Regulation”, “Financial Sector Access to Data and Data Exchange with Other Authorities”, “Information Security Systems”, “Storage of Personal Data and Access Rights in Telecommunications” and other important issues.

“In the telecommunications and financial sectors, the application of the data protection legal framework in the EU is particularly important, but at the same time poses complex challenges. Both sectors are essential for today’s digital market, while also ensuring adequate protection of EU citizens’ personal data. Digital data exchange is not possible without telecommunications services, while online purchases of goods are not possible without the intermediary of financial service providers. If data protection regulations are not respected in these sectors, it affects the whole of society," says L. Linabergs.

In the expert mission on verification procedures and protection of personal data in the education and health sector, her experience was shared by Agita Silniece, legal adviser of the Prevention Division, and Inga Sazonova, legal adviser of the Supervisory Division. During a meeting with representatives of the Kosovo Data Protection Supervisory Authority, specialists addressed a number of key issues, including the need for data protection impact assessment (NIDA) for the processing of health data, the security measures to be applied, the communication of health data (results) to data subjects, the sharing of data with insurance companies, time limits for the storage of health data, etc. Themes such as ‘Processing of children’s personal data on online learning platforms’, ‘Data processing for research purposes’, ‘Installation of video surveillance cameras in pre-schools’ were presented in the education sector.

“Data protection in the education and health sector is of particular importance given the sensitivity of our health information and the potential impact of inappropriate processing of minors’ data. Thank you to the European Commission for the opportunity to participate in the TAIEX project. We highly appreciate the involvement and participation of the colleagues of the Kosovo Information and Privacy Agency during the visit. We see similarities between the desire of Kosovo’s colleagues to protect the data of their citizens and to educate organisations on data protection issues and how we strive to work in Latvia. Participation in such projects provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and supports the approximation of the legal framework between Kosovo and the European Union, as well as raises awareness of the importance of data protection as a value for the benefit of all," says A. Silniece.

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