The International Association of Privacy Professionals is holding its 2019 Europe Data Protection Conference in Brussels. Partner Odia Kagan, who is in attendance, shares some takeaways from day two of the event.

The Importance of Informed Consumers

When consumers feel they are more knowledgeable about the provisions of GDPR, they are more comfortable with online behavioral advertising and with sharing their data, said Caroline Wren (nee Rushton).

Data Protection Takes a Village

“Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to keep one’s data safe,” says Margarethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition.

Additional points:

  • Treating data as the new oil doesn’t do the status of data justice. It is more complex than just a commodity and is intrinsically tied with human dignity.
  • When using the internet we forget that data goes both ways. Whenever we search Google, Google also searches us. 
  • Not having control of our data makes us vulnerable. It allows businesses and politicians to understand us better, but also to take advantage of us.
  • Protecting data is an absolute necessity for creating a digital world that works well for humans.
  • Data should serve the consumers and not the other way around.
  • As long as there is competition, new services can emerge to help us take control and decide for themselves.
  • Competition cannot be the only component. They need to be complemented by data protection rules, like GDPR, which are effectively enforced.
  • We cannot expect people to read all terms and conditions and make a decision if the use is appropriate. We need strong enforcement by authorities.
Privacy by Design

When designing Privacy by Design ensure that, by default, only personal data which are necessary for each purpose are processed.

This includes:

  • amount of personal data
  • extent of processing
  • period of storage; and
  • accessibility

This according to Veronica Buer of Datatilsynet NorwayThe software developers, she says, play a key role in privacy by design.