Greetings from Brussels,
I'm writing today as a bit of a proud father. As a lifelong resident of Brussels, I was keen to have the privacy community come to me here in the EU capital to talk about the vital issues of data protection and privacy that face us as a society.
Last year at this time, we were lower than low, having just been forced to cancel our IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress due to the events in Paris. Then my city had the further terrible events at our airport and metro. So I must say that I am swelled with pride to see the privacy community gather here in Brussels this year with such robustness.
Not only did we meet our attendee total from last year, before the cancellation, but we far surpassed it, creating the largest conference we have ever had at the IAPP in the EU, and, indeed, one of our largest gatherings ever.
Indeed, attendees were rewarded. Not 15 minutes after attendees watched new U.S. President-elect Donald Trump give his first speech following the election, they then watched U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez talk about the impact of his election with Article 29 Working Party Chairwoman Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin and European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli. What could be more relevant? What could be more topical?
Such was the conference as a whole. Each session I attended — be it a session on data protection impact assessments or update on the e-Privacy Directive — was distinguished by highly involved privacy professionals with topical and relevant experience. This was my first IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress, but I don't hesitate to say it must have been the best our organization has ever put on here.
For those of you I didn't get a chance to see and speak to here, I apologize. There was simply too much. It was a smorgasbord. However, please let me know if you have any thoughts following the event. I would be happy to push the feedback to our programming and events team. We can only promise that next year's event will be better still.
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