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Europe Data Protection Digest | Notes from the IAPP Europe Managing Director, 20 April 2018 Related reading: IAPP, UN release joint report on building ethics into privacy frameworks

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Greetings from London!

The IAPP is in town for our annual Data Protection Intensive conference. With a sellout audience, I was surprised — and pleasantly so — that so many privacy folks turned out for the event: We were 700 bodies strong on-site, a 40 percent increase on last years’ event. As staff, we are truly delighted to see the growing confidence placed in our DPI programming team to continue to deliver cutting-edge session content and privacy operations debate for the wider community. 

With 25 days to go until GDPR Day, I can only appreciate how busy the privacy pro community must be. Remember, though, it’s only a beginning. Further to my trip last week to the Information Commissioner's Office's Data Protection Practitioners' Conference in Manchester, we were delighted that Commissioner Elizabeth Denham graced our stage with the opening keynote, articulating the ICO vision and crisp pragmatism in support of business and citizens. 

Unsurprisingly, she reinforced the point that a coherent data protection position is vital to a final Brexit agreement, highlighting that while it remains unknown what the U.K. relationship will look like in a post-Brexit reality, the ICO is deeply committed to strong relationships with the EU regulatory community.

The other keynote that caught my attention was Sarah Gold, CEO of IF, who spoke to how organizations shaping the digital world can earn consumer trust. Her mantra was one of "services should be respecting consumer rights." Her address spoke to the facilitation of digital rights, emphasizing how trust should be viewed as a strategic consideration, with significant impact on the bottom line. One particular example she cited from her organization's research spoke to what we commonly refer to in business as "switching costs." In her research, she found that when customers seek to swap telecom or mobile providers, the overriding factors that folks are increasingly taking into consideration are privacy policy and rights (as well as signal strength) over the traditional market indicator of price of service.

One other session of note for me was the roundtable of European data protection authorities on the enforcement of General Data Protection Regulation. Make sure to read Angelique Carson's write-up of the many thoughts offered by the DPAs from France, Ireland, the U.K., and the European Data Protection Supervisor. The EDPS was also present and spoke to the preparation being undertaken ahead of the European Data Protection Board Secretariat coming into force: A new IT management system is going into effect that will house all cross-border case documentation and will facilitate mutual assistance and the consistency mechanism among EU DPAs, as well dispute resolution. 

More to come on the EDPB shortly.

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