Greetings from the Nordics!
The Nordic Privacy Arena took place in Stockholm earlier this week. It is an event organized by Forum för Dataskydd, an organization for Swedish privacy professionals and data protection officers. The event is directed not only at the Swedish market but the Nordics and the rest of the world. There were about 300 participants, and I was so excited to meet colleagues in person and not just via Microsoft Teams.
Several interesting topics were discussed during the conference — data protection, children, international data transfers, privacy and new technologies, how to manage data protection officers and many more.
I wanted to share a few of my takeaways from the conference:
- Joint responsibility is needed with children. It means the services directed at children must be safe, but parents also have to guide children on how to use them. ICT Legal Consulting Finland Legal Advisor Leena Kuusniemi offered a great comparison to traffic — children need help with how to navigate in traffic. You must stop when you see a red light, and you always need to be careful with vehicles. Children walk out there with a parent until they are old enough to be careful by themselves. The same logic should apply to online services as well.
- When talking about international data transfers, we tend to focus mainly on EU-U.S. transfers, and we forget or at least do not talk about the rest of the world. However, there are many countries outside the EU/EEA, and maybe we should also extend our discussion and think about those regions.
- The Swedish data protection authority, Integritetsskyddsmyndigheten, and AI Sweden worked together to build an innovation portal with guidance and knowledge. In the project, the parties have tried to identify the needs of innovation actors. One need is to increase the knowledge of privacy and data protection issues in the innovation system. It was also discovered that data sharing is a challenge — I totally agree. One of the purposes of this project is to make Sweden a leading data-sharing nation. I like when the goals are ambitious!
- Privacy should solve technology and innovation issues — not create problems.
As you can see, several interesting topics were discussed, but more discussion is needed among privacy professionals all over the world. Even if we look at issues from different perspectives, listening to the other side and learning other types of thinking is beneficial. It makes us better as a community and helps us ensure that personal data and privacy protection is carried out better. So next time we meet, I hope you have a few minutes to talk!
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