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Europe Data Protection Digest | Notes from the IAPP Europe Managing Director, 30 March 2018 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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Greetings from Washington, D.C.!

I am in Washington for my third IAPP Global Privacy Summit, and it hasn’t disappointed as our annual flagship event! As expected, we were at a very respectable head count of nearly 4,000 attendees, which was yet again a record attendance for the occasion.

From a European standpoint, the stage did not disappoint. We were honored with Viviane Reding’s presence, whom we can thank as the instigator of the EU General Data Protection Regulation journey —  a European Member of Parliament for Luxembourg, she was previously European commissioner for justice, human rights and citizenship, bringing about the introduction of the GDPR to the world stage some seven-odd years ago. In her address to the privacy community, she spoke to the ongoing challenges of technology and innovation as we seek to balance individual rights and the public interest.

We also heard from MEP Birgit Sippel, the European Parliament rapporteur for the ePrivacy Regulation. Her assertions were equally compelling, emphasizing the vitality of privacy, and preservation of human rights and democracy for a modern age. To her view, the establishment of the highest possible standard of data protection should be welcomed, facilitating both digital integrity and dignity for individuals, while allowing for technology and innovation to advance. She expressed her concern that, currently, the playing field largely favors companies to the detriment of citizens, whose rights are "much too often viewed as a hindrance to business success." 

The Global Privacy Summit is, above all, a time for me to connect with our global community and with colleagues from IAPP headquarters and beyond. In Europe, we reached a fairly significant milestone in March. We are now more than 10,000 members in Europe and growing fast. Rewind to three-plus years ago, when I started working for the IAPP: We were 2,800 members. The growth has been remarkable and speaks to the evolution of the privacy field generally. As an organization, we too must look to our own evolution as we continue to grow and support the IAPP community. That was a core focus for me this week, to ensure that we can continue to deliver on our promise and mission to support the needs of a growing community in Europe.

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