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Europe Data Protection Digest | Notes from the IAPP Europe Managing Director, January 15, 2016 Related reading: 2018's top 10 resources in the IAPP Resource Center

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Greetings from Brussels!

This week sees a couple of interesting articles in the media concerning the European intelligence services. As we’re still very much in the aftermath of the horrendous events in Paris late last year, it’s not surprising that European member states are looking hard at how to best tackle the complex threat of modern day terrorists. This is critical to European — and world — security, and personally I welcome the concerted effort by the European powers to agree on a common position for the continued protection of European citizens.

The Netherlands, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, on Monday called for greater sharing of intelligence data, including lists of suspected foreign fighters and their banking details. Clearly there is a privacy concern here; I think that our collective security should take precedence. Despite the existence of a legal framework, as well as multiple agreements for the sharing of confidential intelligence, the Dutch hope to boost the use of databases at the European and international police agencies Interpol and Europol, in the wake of poor and insufficient communication before the Paris attacks.

The Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said, "there has to be the confidence and trust between the agencies to ensure that it is not only general knowledge that is shared but precise names, precise travel plans, and precise financial details.” Real-time exchange of information and the buy-in of international intelligence agencies seems critical to combatting security threats going forward. It’s a political minefield for sure, but European citizens should be assured that our governments are looking for intelligence efficiency across borders. We demand it.

On another note, our GDPR Comprehensive training scheduled for 22 and 23 February is proving incredibly popular. The interest and registration numbers to date are very encouraging, and clearly we are meeting an immediate demand of the privacy community. I am looking forward to meeting our community here in Brussels.

If GDPR implementation is on your mind, check out our program — we have a tremendous event coming up!

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