AEPD and COP sign a protocol to encourage measures to promote mental health on the Internet

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AEPD and COP sign a protocol to encourage measures to promote mental health on the Internet

The director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD), Mar España, and the president of the General Council of Psychology (COP), Francisco Santolaya, have signed an action protocol with the aim of promoting privacy on the Internet, the protection of personal data and gender equality. 

Specifically, through this Protocol, the aim is to increase the effectiveness of security measures and attention to the people affected in the event that their personal data has been obtained illegitimately and, especially, in cases of violence against women and in those cases in which minors or other vulnerable groups are involved.

Mental health on the Internet 

By signing this Protocol and creating the corresponding tools, such as the so-called “Priority Channel”, the AEPD and the COP intend to disseminate the possibility of reporting and requesting, as a matter of urgency, the removal of videos, photographs and audios of a sexual or violent nature that have been published on the Internet without the consent of the person concerned, whose image or voice appears in such content, thus seriously damaging their state and mental health. 

It should also be noted in this regard that 98.5% of Spanish young people and adolescents are registered in some social network and are therefore exposed daily to all kinds of content, interactions and the risk of their personal data being shared by third parties or even by themselves due to lack of knowledge or misuse of such social networks. For this reason, it is essential to have tools and protocols such as this one to eradicate any illegitimate intrusion through the Internet that could have serious consequences on the self-esteem and mental health of internet users. 

What is the importance of this protocol?

The importance of this Protocol lies in the collaboration between two institutions of the caliber of the AEPD and the COP, joining forces and knowledge to raise public awareness in such important matters such as privacy and data protection, as well as psychology and mental health. 

In this sense, both institutions are expected to cooperate in the organization of forums, conferences, workshops, seminars and informative breakfasts to disseminate the contents of the Protocol, promote the tools, materials and resources available to the public to achieve the purpose of the Protocol and, in summary, join forces to conduct studies and publications in order to protect those people who are being victims of a dissemination of their personal data without their express consent.

What measures are established in this protocol?

For the correct execution of the Protocol, it has been agreed to adopt the following measures:

  • Constitution of a “monitoring committee” made up of representatives of the AEPD and COP on an equal basis and who will be appointed by the signatories of the aforementioned Protocol;
  • The AEPD will carry out training on privacy and data protection for members of the Official Associations of Psychologists in order to combine knowledge and subjects, so that psychology and data protection form a system that allows the protection of those affected in this area;
  • For its part, the COP will offer advice to the AEPD to incorporate the protection and mental wellbeing of people in the digital world;
  • Both entities will jointly produce publications that are of interest to both parties;
  • The COP will collaborate with the AEPD to disseminate the Priority Channel tool and materials and tools on gender equality and the fight against gender violence.

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