Restoring family links code of conduct on data protection

27 January 2016

The restoring family links code of conduct on data protection provides a means of protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals using RFL services, in particular the right to privacy and the protection of personal data.

The drafting of this Code reflects the many bodies that make up the Family Links Network, the need to transfer data within the Network and to others for important reasons of public interest and in the vital interest of the data subjects or others, and the developing regulatory environment in Europe and worldwide with regard to data protection. It sets out the minimum principles, commitments, and procedures that members of the Movement must comply with when processing data within the Family Links Network. It answers questions like: "How do we protect people when publishing their photos online for humanitarian purposes?" "How do we comply with data protection principles when handling the personal data of sought persons without their consent?" or "How do we follow the principle of "do no harm" when transferring personal data to third parties?"

The Code was drafted and adopted by a working group of representatives from National Societies, the Red Cross EU Office, the ICRC and the International Federation. It was presented at the last meeting of the RFL Strategy Implementation Group in June 2015 and is included in the Progress report on the implementation of the RFL Strategy that was presented to Council of Delegates in December 2015.

The Code seeks to comply with the most stringent data protection rules, particularly the European Union legislation on this matter. Users of the Code must also ensure that they comply with their own national legislation. The RFL Code of Conduct on Data Protection is a reference document integrated into the Movement's main set of RFL guidance. Individual members of the Movement will need to adopt and transpose it into their own standard procedures.

An Application Group will be set to support the implementation of the Code and promote it.

An RFL Code of Conduct for Data Protection Compliance Checklist has been developed to allow the components of the Movement to check that the quality of service provided meets the minimum requirements for data protection set out in the Code.

A template Data Protection Impact Assessment to be used in restoring family links activities has also been developed and is available to the members of the Family Links Network.

Code of conduct on data protection

RFL code of conduct for data protection compliance checklist

Data protection impact assessment template