Greetings from Paris,
It's that time of year when we bring a big slice of the IAPP to the city of Paris with our DPI: France event in residence. Not two weeks ago, I was slightly apprehensive that French national strikes and the general sense of protest — being a prevailing wind of late in the country’s capital — might kibosh the whole affair.
Not so, as fortune would have it, the storms of protest subsided in time. And as cities go, Paris is truly an unbeatable location to hold a conference. Held at the grand Westin Paris — Vendome, adjacent to the spacious Tuileries Garden and a stone’s throw from the historic place de la Concorde, our annual Paris event was opened by Marie-Laure Denis, president of the CNIL, the French national authority.
There were a couple of points of note in Denis’s address worth a second mention. Firstly, and reflective of the CNIL’s strategic road map 2020–21, priority has been given to "digital issues" in everyday life as they affect citizens and professionals alike; this is core to the CNIL public services mission of being seen and recognized as a trusted ally in an increasingly pervasive digital age. Another common CNIL thread that lends itself to economic and societal transformation is that of technology in the broadest sense. The CNIL reiterated its own organizational evolutions in that regard, confirming its commitment to be at the center of innovation and providing public expertise on digital technology and cybersecurity as it relates to the field of data protection. Indeed, much has been actively done — already — by the CNIL in the area of IT regulatory policy and guidance both at the national and European levels, something Denis is particularly proud of.
Denis also announced that, in addition to its recent work to establish a DPO certification accreditation scheme, the CNIL would be looking to release a similar scheme for training organizations looking to provide data protection training. The scheme will also include accreditation requirements. This is also being implemented in the context of the broader national reform of vocational and professional training. Traditionally in France, education has always been at the heart of national debate and a dominant component of public policy; recent reforms in this field have served as a catalyst for policy renewal with an aim to increase efficiency, as well as a contemporary edge to meet the modern age. More specifically, the central national agency responsible for financing and regulating vocational education, France Competences, recently recognized the DPO as an emerging profession. The IAPP responded to the emerging professions public consultation, so we are delighted to see this public development in France.
For myself, and in addition to the numerous cutting-edge sessions on data privacy, I was delighted to moderate a regulatory panel comprising Sophie Nerbonne of the CNIL, Dale Sunderland of the Irish DPC, and Michael Kaiser of the Hesse DPA in Germany. We had a constructive discussion on priorities and work at hand, both at the local and European levels. A summary account of the discussion and more can be found here as penned by IAPP Editorial Director Jedidiah Bracy.
In talking with our country leader for France, Yann Padova, he observed that the sessions demonstrated a good level of maturity and experience through the panels and presentations. Whereas last year, privacy pros were still more centered on privacy programming construction, this year, a greater sense of opinion prevailed on what’s working best and where the challenges lie. Our members seemed generally pleased with the application of data privacy content throughout the event.
With that, I’d like to thank all our speakers, participating regulators and members for their attendance and making Paris a great experience for all involved. Hope to see some of you at our next DPI series event in London.
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