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PRESS RELEASE – The Council of Europe publishes its new recommendation on the protection of health-related data

After four years of work and discussions, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 27 March 2019 adopted its new guidelines, urging its 47 Member States to ensure that the processing of health-related data is done in full respect of human rights. The new recommendation also incorporates the novelties introduced in the updated Council of Europe data protection convention known as Convention 108+.

Member State representatives adopted a text that takes account of the major changes in the management of health-related data since the development of Internet and new approaches to the provision of healthcare and the processing of individuals’ personal data for various purposes.

The recommendation incorporates in particular the new requirements governing the exchange and sharing of data, and also takes full account of the GDPR.

This text emanating from the Council of Europe and dedicated to health-related data issues provides a valuable addition to the framework established by the GDPR.

Jeanne BOSSI MALAFOSSE, head of the Personal Data Department and co-head of the Life Sciences Department at DELSOL Avocats and a Council of Europe expert, was instrumental in the drafting of this new recommendation and was involved, in conjunction with Council of Europe services, in coordinating the work and in the discussions with Member States.

"I am delighted to witness the publication of this text, which now provides us with a more detailed European legal framework for the processing of health-related data, to which Member States can refer when the time comes to adapt their national legislation. Producing the initial draft and following the often lively discussions was a very rewarding experience," she adds.