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EU Agreement on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that includes a reference to the Holocaust.

EU Agreement on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that includes a reference to the Holocaust.

Following a campaign of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), the AJR welcomes the European Union’s announcement that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will include a specific reference to the Holocaust.

The GDPR is the EU’s law on data protection but without a specific exclusion for documents bearing on the Holocaust, IHRA successfully expressed concerns that archivists would be uncertain whether they could disclose Holocaust-era documents for fear of breaching rules on individuals’ right to privacy.

Making explicit reference to the Holocaust removes any restriction. Recital 125b of the GDPR now reads:

"Where personal data are processed for archiving purposes, this Regulation should also apply to that processing, bearing in mind that this Regulation should not apply to deceased persons. Public authorities or public or private bodies that hold records of public interest should be services which, pursuant to Union or Member State law, have a legal obligation to acquire, preserve, appraise, arrange, describe, communicate, promote, disseminate and provide access to records of enduring value for general public interest. Member States should also be authorised to provide that personal data may be further processed for archiving purposes, for example with a view to providing specific information related to the political behaviour under former totalitarian state regimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, in particular the Holocaust, or war crimes."

Current IHRA Chair, Hungarian State Secretary for European Affairs, Szabolcs Takács said “IHRA had been concerned with the potential impact of the GDPR on Holocaust research since 2012. While IHRA supported the EU decision to ensure the protection of personal data, the organization had always maintained that it was crucial that the right to be forgotten did not conflict with the responsibility to remember. This recent development marks a great success for the only intergovernmental organization which focuses on the Holocaust.”

Please click on this link to read the statement.