There's no shortage of words to describe what late European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli meant to the privacy and data protection landscapes, that's been clear from the tributes that have poured in since his death in August. Buttarelli has been memorialized with sentiments of praise, respect and gratitude for all his efforts to bring privacy and data protection to the forefront on a global scale.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals hopes to keep his memory alive for years to come and will use his namesake to do so. The IAPP has announced the launch of the "Giovanni Buttarelli Memorial Lecture," slated as an annual speech given at the IAPP Data Protection Congress in Brussels, starting this year.
"With this lecture series, we pay tribute to the work of our late friend and colleague," IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP, said in a news release. "Giovanni was a passionate, dedicated and brave leader, who put humanity and dignity before technological progress. He attracted respect and admiration of all those who had the chance to cross his path. We miss him."
The lecture aims to reflect on and honor Buttarelli's achievements in the privacy and data protection space, where he began his work and advocacy in 1997 with the Italian data protection authority. Buttarelli then became assistant EDPS in 2009, before being elected head of the office in 2014.
IAPP Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer Omer Tene said the speech aims to "recognize his unique vision — he launched discussions of data ethics and of the intersection of competition and privacy, for example, long before these issues became widespread — and his leadership as a judge, a diplomat, a regulator and a privacy professional. The lecture will feature leading policymakers and academics whose visions pave the path for a new generation of privacy professionals."
The inaugural lecture in the series will be delivered by European Commission Executive Vice President-Designate Margrethe Vestager Nov. 20.
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