January 28 is observed as Data Privacy Day or Data Protection day in the United States, Canada, and 27 European countries. The objective is to to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices.
It began as an initiative to raise awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking. Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance with privacy laws and regulations; and create dialogues among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy.
The Council of Europe opened the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data on January 28, 1981, which is currently in the process of being updated in order to reflect new legal challenges caused by technological development. Also protecting the integrity of data systems and thus of privacy in cyberspace is the Convention on Cybercrime. Privacy including data protection is also protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Council of Europe initiated the day usually considered a holiday in 2007 as the European Data Protection Day, which was declared National Data Privacy Day on January 26, 2009 when the Senate passed Senate Resolution 25. The United States Senate also recognized Data Privacy Day in 2010 and in 2011.
Data Privacy Day was later as Data Privacy & Protection Day in 2010 by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and dozens of global organizations in response to the increasing levels of data breaches and the global importance of privacy and data security. The National Cyber Security Alliance and similar organisations work to coordinate Data Privacy Day activities in the U.S.
The day has received major corporate supporters, which include, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Symantec, Verizon among many others.