Personal data in the archives: privacy and openness in the information age

Recording of the conference „Personal data in the archives: privacy and openness in the information age“ hosted by State Regional Archives in Prague and National Archives of the Czech Republic on 9 November 2021.

The development of the information society and the newly acquired freedom of recent decades have brought a whole range of issues related to the regulation of conflicting civil rights – the right to know, freedom of research, right to information from state institutions, but also personality and privacy rights, and citizens’ right to information self-determination. Archives, which primarily hold records originating from the activities of state institutions, must make difficult judgements regarding the conflicts between the legitimate protection of private and public interests. This conflict affects the entire life cycle of a record and increases the demands on the preservation of information by its originators, its transfer, processing and public access. Moreover, researcher expectations are more than diverse, ranging from scientific research, through citizen scrutiny of public authority, to the commercialisation of machine-extractable data in the reuse of public sector information.

The aim of the conference was to open these as well as other questions, to look at the latest developments in this area and, last but not least, to consider the possibilities of archival practice and legislative changes in the field of protection of personal data, personal rights and privacy in the archives.

The conference was supported as output of the “Analysis of personal data processing in the archives” research project (Code: VI20192022125) carried out within the Security Research Programme of the Czech Republic in the years 2015–2022 (BV III/1 VS) provided by the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic.


Programme (PDF – 349 kB):

9.05 – 9.45 Personal data and personality rights protection in the archives in international and Czech perspective (Mikuláš Čtvrtník, State Regional Archives in Prague, Czech Republic and Karolína Šimůnková, National Archives, Czech Republic)

9.45 – 10.45 A human rights view of privacy in the archives: principles, cases, problems (Antoon de Baets, University of Groningen, the Netherlands)

11.00 – 12.30 Personal data in the archives: new challenges and solutions on national and European level (Speakers: Giulia Barrera, Archival and Bibliographic Supervision Agency of Calabria, Italy, Clemens Rehm, State Archives of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Iván Székely, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Hungary)

13.30 – 15.00 Personal data in the archives: over the horizon (Speakers: Tomáš Lechner, University of Economics, Czech Republic, Josef Prokeš, Office of Personal Data Protection, Czech Republic, Jan Vobořil, Iuridicum Remedium, Czech Republic)

15.15 – 16.00 Methodology for accessing archives containing personal data (Speakers: Markéta Munková, State Regional Archives Prague, Czech Republic, Karolína Šimůnková, National Archives, Czech Republic, Jiří Úlovec, Ministry of Interior, Czech Republic)

16.00 – 16.30 Discussion and final conclusions

All sessions hosted by Mikuláš Čtvrtník, State Regional Archives in Prague, Czech Republic and Zbyšek Stodůlka, National Archives, Czech Republic.