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Europe Data Protection Digest | Notes from the IAPP Europe Managing Director, 3 May 2019 Related reading: Global News Roundup: March 2–8, 2021



Greetings from Washington!

It’s that time of year again and the biggest of occasions on the IAPP calendar. We’re in town for our annual Global Privacy Summit, attracting privacy pros from the farthest corners of the globe. This is a city I enjoy; I have been visiting here for many a year, albeit primarily for business. It is without a doubt a monumental town — literally teeming with some of the world’s most iconic monuments, vast museums, coupled with the hallways of U.S. power where decisions more often than not have global influence.

I do like to take in a museum while in town; it has become one of my traditions. With the Smithsonian Institution offering up 19 different museums, one has an embarrassment of choice. This year, I visited the African American Museum of History and Culture — this is the newest addition to the Smithsonian landscape. It was quite the experience, a fascinating and sometimes hard expose to the grim past surrounding the slave trade and the struggle of African Americans. On the positive note, the rich tapestry of African American cultural contribution shaping this country and beyond has been immense. In my view, it’s a must-visit for Americans and Europeans alike.    

To business, and the Summit seems to know no end to its organic growth. This year’s edition saw 4,300 privacy pros grace the Marriott Marquis. We are up 25% on last year. That’s phenomenal, and we thank you all for your continued support.

In conjunction with the Summit, the IAPP organized its annual DPA Day for commissioners from around the world — this year, 35 regulators attended. From a European standpoint, a particular mention for David Stevens, the newly appointed Belgian authority commissioner, as well as for Marie-Laure Denis, the new president of France's CNIL, who both made the trip to be present here in Washington. The day’s activities included the much-coveted visit to the White House and a meeting with Abigail Slater, special assistant to the president for tech, telecom, and cyber policy, and other government officials. In addition, the commissioners were hosted by the Future of Privacy Forum on legislative updates from the U.S. perspective. The meeting featured a discussion with congressional staffers working on federal privacy legislation, as well as with policymakers from California, including Alastair Mactaggart, who helped initiate the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In other local news, U.S. lawmakers took the opportunity Wednesday to ask consumer groups how they should craft a federal law that gives users tools and resources to control their data in ways that align with their expectations. Also on hand, at the “Consumer Perspectives: Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework” hearing, was Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon to share her perspectives on enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation and how the U.S. might follow or diverge from that strategy. Witnesses advocated for algorithmic transparency, special provisions for children and nuanced regulations on data sets depending on their sensitivity. Our very own Angelique Carson was at the hearing and has the details in this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor.

It has been a huge week, and in case you haven’t heard, IAPP CEO J. Trevor Hughes also announced the 50,000 members milestone during his key address on opening day. What a week!  


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