Covington & Burling Senior Counsel Henriette “Jetty” Tielemans, a leading voice on data protection in Europe, has been appointed senior Westin research fellow at the IAPP.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Tielemans, a former member of both the IAPP board of directors and its European Advisory Board, as well as the 2018 recipient of the organization’s Vanguard Award in recognition of her leadership in the field of privacy.
“I’ve been connected to the IAPP for, basically, as long as I can remember,” said Tielemans, who is based in Brussels, where she has practiced law for more than 30 years. “It seemed like a very natural move in the sense that as a senior counsel I will have more free time than I had as a partner, and I can’t think of a better organization to devote some of that time to than the IAPP. It’s an organization that I know well, where I feel comfortable, and I think they feel comfortable with me. There’s a long history there.”
Tielmans co-chaired Covington & Burling's global privacy and data security practice and advised global companies on data protection and cybersecurity. Her work has focused on international data transfers, binding corporate rules, big data, the EU General Data Protection Regulation and more.
It’s on these key privacy topics and others that Tielemans will produce content in her role as IAPP senior Westin research fellow. “The emphasis is on research,” she said. “Using my knowledge of privacy as an outside counsel and identifying the issues that, in my experience, in-house counsel struggle with and bringing my expertise there to the larger community, at a high level.”
The “Schrems II” decision is a recent “major development” that Tielmans and the privacy community are following closely. The decision invalidates the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, relied on by more than 5,000 U.S. companies to conduct trans-Atlantic trade in compliance with EU data protection rules, and Tielmans said it will be some time before a replacement is finalized, if ever. While standard contractual clauses remain in place, Tielemans said companies and regulators are facing additional burdens, and with the introduction of privacy laws around the world, it is difficult to obtain definitive information on exactly what they need to do.
“This could have significant impact, basically, on world trade, and given the circumstances, the world is struggling with regarding COVID-19 and its economic consequences, if you add that to it, if you add Brexit to it for us Europeans, it’s a frightening mix,” Tielemans said. “So, it’s going to be very interesting to see how this develops.”
IAPP Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer Omer Tene called Tielemans “one of the pioneers of our field” and said her expertise on European law is a valuable addition to the organization.
“Jetty is one of the leading legal experts in Brussels, and the IAPP is lucky to add her depth to our Westin Research Center team,” said IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP. “She will bring a pragmatic, accessible approach to navigating complex data protection standards to our members.”
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash
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