Greetings from Milano,
This week I was fortunate to find myself in this Italian beacon of elegance and sophistication. Milan is so much more than the puritanically work-obsessed city it is often portrayed as. Milan is a city where creativity is big business, looking good is compulsory, and after-work gatherings are an art form. Not only is Milan a treasure trove of art and design, there is art deco and rationalist architecture abound. I do like this city, home to much more than I can squeeze into this editorial. I will however share that I finally got to view the breathtaking "Last Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci, at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, which fortunately was right opposite the Palazzo delle Stelline, where the 4th Annual ASSO DPO Congress was being held. Let me extend a hearty thank you to ASSO DPO president and IAPP member Matteo Columbo, and his team for facilitating the guided viewing of this 15th century masterpiece.
Fittingly, with the advent of the EU General Data Protection Regulation now 14 days away, the ASSO DPO conference was focused on the practical themes of privacy engineering and programming. Sessions included a focus on how to connect DPOs from across Europe to share common cause, as well as addressing the interplay between data controllers and processors in a post-GDPR world. As the representative of the IAPP, I participated in a roundtable discussion with several European member state privacy associations, highlighting our IAPP mission in connecting the privacy profession and how we support the community through our platforms both in Europe and, importantly, from a global perspective. We are the International after all, accounting for more than 40,000 members in more than 100 countries and, for the record, we currently stand at 11,100 members in Europe, our fastest-growing geographical community.
On an advisory note, Buttarelli also spoke to the principle of accountability under the GDPR for businesses. He stated that the regulatory community will be looking to data controllers (and processors) to take timely decisions and seek diversification for the answers and solutions unique to their organizations and ecosystems. WP29 Guidelines are not enough — they are a set of standard practices — but not necessarily "the whole answer," he said. Notably, his message was clear that the role of the data protection officer provides an essential function, serving as a catalyst for the meaningful changes that need to be implemented within the GDPR framework.
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