The National Commission for National Control Commission for the Protection of Personal Data (CNDP) is celebrating its anniversary on 31 August of each year. Three years have passed since its inception during the promulgation of Law 09-08 on the protection of personal data. This is an opportunity to review the actions of this young institution.
At the national level, one of the main achievements of the CNDP has undoubtedly been the constitutional entrenchment of the protection of privacy. In July 2011, it had already been put into effect with Article 24 of the Moroccan Constitution which sets out that "Everyone has the right to the protection of privacy, etc.”
Internationally, the efforts of the cooperation policy developed by the CNDP have borne fruit. This was recognized in November 2011 by the 33th International Conference of Supervisory Authorities in Mexico, and since then it co-chairs the working group on the development of a common repository for French-speaking supervisory authorities of personal data. The importance of this position will raise the CNDP ranking as an exemplary institution in the field, both in French-speaking world and worldwide: a reputation that was later confirmed by the ratification of Convention 108.
It is clear that despite the young age of the Commission, the overall result since its creation proves to be positive. The CNDP is taking his research into other realms, and attention must be paid to the fact that it is now at a critical stage of its existence. Indeed, as the supervisory authorities of other countries, the CNDP is facing structural changes directly related to the development of the digital community, and international debate on the protection of personal data is today more than ever of topicality.
The digital system becoming increasingly complex, the CNDP is expected to redefine its role and renew its efforts to continue to position itself as a model for the protection of personal data within the Arab-Muslim world, but also in all of Africa. Morocco is one of the pioneers in the field of personal data protection in the Arab world. The creation of the CNDP represents a major step forward in the protection of the privacy of individuals and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights.
In addition, Morocco has become a major destination of investment for French-speaking countries in the areas of call centers and offshoring. The main French stakeholders of offshoring have set up companies in Morocco, and now there are over a hundred multinationals operating in the country. It is essential for the future to sustain this position in French-speaking markets and maintain offshores already operating in the country in order to create new markets.
To protect these assets and integrate fully into the digital age, the CNDP is facing a major challenge that will impose a new approach. It must both fully assume its role as monitoring authority and follow the development of new technologies. This is not only to promote the digital economy marked by unprecedented international competition, but also to ethically protect the privacy of individuals permanently living in Morocco to ensure the processing of their personal data in a statutory legal framework. This challenge is based on a clearly defined strategy that will develop tools that will provide a rigorous implementation. This toolkit must be completed and brought in line in collaboration with national and foreign professionals.
Procedures manuals, monitoring, awareness or dedicated training modules must be provided to comply with the law 09-08. The CNDP has to adapt to social change engendered by new communication and provide users with free, responsible and controlled educational solutions for use.
However, control of compliance is and will remain an important focus in the strategy of the CNDP. Hence the need to get closer to different public and private stakeholders to better understand the nature of their activities and their difficulties in the major project of regionalization that Morocco desires to set up. It is therefore essential to build a go-between involving and empowering these stakeholders with the aim to share with them the burden of the process of compliance and regulation imposed by the digital age.
These developments should be matched also by reflect awareness on the part of national authorities in respect of issues of the protection of personal data.
This is to ensure the necessary political support to the CNDP, mobilizing human and material resources in order to meet the above challenges so that Morocco fully benefits from the advantages of the digital age.