You didn’t get this digest in your inbox last Friday because IAPPers, who worked their butts off hosting the largest privacy conference ever, got the day off. More than well deserved, I’d say!
I made the trip to this year’s Global Privacy Summit and thought I’d share just a few observations from last week.
One thing that hits you when you first arrive is the sheer size of the event. Well over 5,000 people attended, which obviously requires a venue of a certain size. The hotel and convention center delivered in this respect. You got a surge of energy just from walking into the space and, having worked in this sector for about 20 years, I was struck by how the conference reflects the growth of our profession — to about 80,000 IAPP members at last count. It’s pretty awesome.
I attended some really fantastic keynote sessions. Trevor Noah was the big star who shared his personal story and his thoughts about identity and surveillance, but other the keynote speakers were equally compelling.
Canada was relatively well-represented at the Summit as well. I attended an excellent session on regulatory developments in Canada. It was moderated by Fasken Partner and National Co-Leader, Privacy and Cybersecurity Antoine Aylwin, CIPP/C, from Montreal. He shared the stage with Commissioner Philippe Dufresne, Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec President Diane Poitras and former U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. It was a packed room and people from different parts of the world were genuinely interested in where things stand in Canada today and where they might be headed in the near future.
It was also incredibly refreshing to meet people face to face, as opposed to via Zoom, Teams or Google. I personally think the networking aspect is as important as the learning that takes place in various sessions. And, in terms of the awe factor, there’s nothing quite like walking into the hotel lobby at the end of the first day to see literally thousands of people enjoying the largest cocktail party I’ve ever attended.
The entire week, which was punctuated by terrific weather (while, unfortunately, there was an ice storm back home) and beautiful cherry blossoms, was a huge success for the privacy pros who attended and for the association that brings us together. It has me excited for our turn at the end of May, when we will be hosting the Canada Privacy Symposium 2023 in Toronto. I periodically get updates on the registration numbers for that event and they are looking great — we might even sell out. So, please, get registered early to reserve your spot.
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