On the occasion of Data Protection Day 2024, the Co-Directors of the Brussels Privacy Hub share the following statement:
Dear members of the privacy and data protection community,
Since 2007, our community has taken the time to celebrate the 28th of January, the launch date of Convention 108, as Data Protection Day. For years, this celebration took place during the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference, hosted by our Honorary Co-Director prof. Paul De Hert. We are delighted that this year, we will return to this tradition, with the CPDP and EDPS Data Protection Day on the 25th of January. This will allow us to reflect on the dynamic field that is data protection and look forward, in particular at the interplay between data protection and other fields.
Last year marked another ramp-up in the enforcement of the GDPR, which has already been applicable for a little more than five years. The effective enforcement of the principles that were consolidated in the GDPR in 2016, but of which many date back to the 1995 Data Protection Directive or even the 43-year-old Convention 108 we are celebrating today, forms the cornerstone of the protection of the fundamental right to privacy and data protection. The steps taken by the EDPB, EDPS and the Commission to both monitor and introduce a new regulation on enforcement are thus welcome and we hope that the text will be further improved through the legislative process.
The legal landscape is getting more complex by the day. The EU’s digital strategy is coming into full force, with new pieces of legislationintended to solve a variety of emerging challenges without undermining the GDPR acquis. Cooperation between academics from different fields, in particular data protection and competition, activists, practitioners and professionals working in industry and regulators will be key to preserve fundamental rights in the digital world and protect and strengthen our democratic processes.
No data protection day message would be complete without referencing the race to Artificial Intelligence, which has triggered new policy and legislative actions, but which will require ongoing scrutiny as it is already having important consequences for individual rights,technological infrastructures and democratic institutions. With the AI Act in its final stages of approval, we will continue to monitor practices and identify gaps for future research. which we research and practice.
Through our call for the inclusion of a FRIA in the AI Act, our recent events on the GDPR Procedural Regulation, or on the future of data access and portability, our continuing work on vulnerability in data protection law we hope we have helped you better grasp the implications of ongoing debates and open files throughout 2023. We will continue this effort in 2024, with our upcoming Summer Academy on data regulations and much more to come.
We wish you a wonderful Data Protection Day.
Gianclaudio Malgieri and Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon, Co-Directors of the Brussels Privacy Hub