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Former UK Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, now global strategy advisor to the Centre for Information Policy Leadership, has announced the creation of a new Alumni Network for former privacy and data protection commissioners around the globe. A relatively informal network, the group has already collected more than 30 former commissioners and is looking to spread the word and expand.

“This is a network without any status, rules or other formalities,” Thomas wrote in an email. “The primary aim is simply to keep in touch, across the globe, with former friends and colleagues. The main activity is therefore nothing more than sharing personal contact details and trying to keep up to date.”

He stressed that he’s not interested in having some kind of unified policy voice or influencing world affairs. Rather, he wrote, the goal is to grab a meal or cocktail with one another when they discover they’re in the same place (like, hint, hint, the Global Privacy Summit or the Europe Data Protection Intensive), give each other recommendations on favorite restaurants and hotels, and to “bilaterally and privately exchange thoughts and observations on current or past privacy and data protection issues, but not in any way attempting any sort of collegiate view and certainly not seeking to ‘get in the hair’ of our successors.”

If you’d like to be involved, please reach out through our IAPP Publications team and we’ll make the appropriate connections.

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