Catalan Data Protection Authority launches Data Protection by Design competition

Barbarà Fondevila, Maria Àngels, Director, Catalan Data Protection Authority, based in Barcelona, has launched a competition to find an app or technological solution developed anywhere that best showcases “applications or systems that improve the implementation of security measures, facilitate compliance with legal obligations in the field of data protection, strengthen people’s control over their own information and, in general, make the management of privacy easier.” The competition’s title, Data Protection by Design, consciously reflects the language in Art. 23 of the EU Data Protection Regulation.
This is the competition’s 4th year and has some new features. To increase the number of applications, they can now be made in English or French in addition to Catalan or Spanish which have been the required languages in previous years. The competition is open to “companies, physical or legal persons, researchers and developers.” Applications for the competition may be either for management or end user applications, for any platform or device.

  • The criteria for assessing the applications have been broadened this year. Merce Jante Berenguer, Catalan DPA’s Head of Communications, told PL&B that the competition in previous years was for technological solutions which aimed to improve public services. Examples of winning entries were:
    •        for education in schools (2013)
    •        a clinical information app which, at no cost to the hospital, avoids the loss of patient records while giving each hospital patient a screen which can be used as a television in addition to use for secure entry and storage of patient records (2014).
    •        an information network to be used to connect police and fire services to replace their use of What’s App (2015).

By contrast, now there are several criteria based on a points system of which only one is technological solutions that improve public services. The criteria are:

a) Innovation
b) Degree of maturity of development
c) Benefits that the solution offers for data protection
d) Other benefits offered by the solution (user-friendliness, robust nature, accessibility,
multi-platform, utility, etc.),
e) Technical quality of the solution presented, particularly as regards the application of
solutions based on the “security by default” criterion
f) Social impact
g) Contribution to improve the quality and efficiency of public services.

The deadline for submitting applications has been extended until 24 March.

The prize of public recognition: Although there is only one winner, all applicants are listed publicly at the award ceremony at the Catalan Parliament in June. As a result, all applicants receive valuable publicity as a result of entering this competition, providing a substantial incentive.
Award information