The first full day of our Data Protection Congress in Brussels yesterday was fairly overwhelming — a sold-out event, in a venue very literally at capacity — it was hard even if you were in attendance to take it all in. Luckily, we've got a very talented photographer on site and it's easy to give you a quick glimpse. Here's the story of day one in pictures:
Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and the politician tasked with guiding through the GDPR and ePrivacy Regulation, opened our plenary session with a call for help in educating the populace, in the EU and abroad, about the new era of data protection and its links to human rights. Read Jedidiah Bracy's, CIPP, write up of her full address here.
She was followed by Hubertus Knabe, historian and executive director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation, who mesmerized with his straightforward account of the Stasi's activities in East Germany, his own experience with being surveilled, and the irony of his office space — sitting right within a former Stasi interrogation prison.
Similarly, artists Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud detailed their experiences in watching the watchers, and the human rights implications of restricting access to the internet.
But one of the best parts of an event like DPC is that it can quickly move from the greatly crowded to the quietly intimate. Attendees really engaged with the results of the Privacy Design Lab put on earlier in the week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, teaming up with Legal Hackers Brussels and DigitYser.
And then things can quickly move back to the greatly crowded! "Standing room only" doesn't begin to describe the situation for the breakout session focusing on the future of the ePrivacy Regulation, featuring the EU Commission's Rosa Barcelo and Karolina Mojzesowicz, along with Ralf Bendrath, policy advisor to MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, all moderated by the IAPP's Omer Tene. Look for us to revisit this topic with a web conference in the near future.
Still, much of the value of an event like this comes in the hallway conversations, the new people you meet, and the connections you never thought you'd make.
And, of course, there is the simple hunger for information, greater than ever in this era of the pending GDPR. DPC marked the launch of the much-awaited new CIPP/E textbook (held aloft here by IAPP European Managing Director Paul Jordan, next to our CEO, Trevor Hughes, CIPP). It seems almost surreal, but people were actually lined up to not only buy it, but get it signed by executive editor Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E. Don't worry folks, it will be ready through the web site in about two weeks (gotta get some more printed).
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