Greetings from Brussels!
Not long to go now: The 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners starts in just under two weeks. The program looks very promising, and I, for one, will not have to go far as this year's edition takes place in Brussels. Interestingly (and perhaps even slightly exotic) for some, the main event will take place in the European Parliament; it’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to grace the halls of European democracy. I’m fairly certain that this is a first in terms of holding an international conference of this magnitude on parliamentary premises, so it may prove memorable in more ways than one.
Increasingly, as with all these types of events, there is a strong offering of side events and receptions taking place in and around the conference. The IAPP will be holding a welcome reception for all delegates attending the conference on the evening of Tuesday, 23 Oct. at the celebrated Magritte Museum here in Brussels. Guests will be treated to some delectable Belgian cuisine and, of course, there will be Belgian beer and chocolate — how could we do otherwise? For interested parties, there will also be organized tours to view the museum’s outstanding collection of works by renowned Belgian surrealist René Magritte. It's a "must not miss," in my view.
Another side event that I think will be a "must attend" takes place Thursday, 25 Oct. at 14:30, entitled "Initiatives in the EU and International Perspectives." The event is jointly organized by the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor and takes place exactly five months after the entry into application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Andrea Jelinek, chair of the European Data Protection Board, considers the event a great opportunity to take stock and evaluate together with panelists and attendees how the GDPR is faring so far.
Of particular interest is a keynote given by Koen Lenaerts, president of the Court of Justice of the European Union. That should be a particularly interesting speech, to hear an address directly from the president of the CJEU. I have also been told that this is will be the first time that Lenaerts publicly addresses the topic of data protection.
Jelinek said ahead of the event: "As European data protection authorities, we have really rolled up our sleeves and actively engaged in providing guidance on the GDPR to stakeholders. This has included the adoption of several detailed guidelines on all aspects of the GDPR. One of our key tasks is to ensure the consistent application of this new law. To this end, we have adopted the 22 opinions establishing common criteria for data protection impact assessment lists. Establishing common criteria for these lists involved a considerable amount of work but an excellent opportunity for the EDPB to test the possibilities and challenges of consistency in practice. I am looking forward to hosting this event together with the European Data Protection Supervisor, and to engage with the audience on the impact, and first concrete effects of the GDPR."
Demand for this event is already very high, so if you are interested in attending, I would certainly look to register as soon as possible to ensure you get a seat, and bear in mind that the event is also off-site. Looking forward to this forthcoming privacy week on home turf, and hope to see many of you in town!
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