How do you do you foresee the role of the International Conference in promoting privacy and data protection at international level?
I think it will be crucial for the free flow of data to have a widely shared common understanding of rules and interpretation of these rules. Already within Europe the coordination aiming at a common understanding of laws and a similar approach to the enforcement is a complicated task – but the internet and data flows are global. It will be crucial for business and users to work on interoperability and common approaches.
With just a few days before the effective application of the GDPR, can you tell us more about your ongoing news and in particular the recent creation of NOYB?
So far we were great in Europe in passing laws and having conference on privacy – what was often lacking, was the enforcement. This was largely due to limitations in the national laws, that made enforcement for DPAs very hard, but also a certain culture in the “privacy bubble” that was seeing this fundamental right as a soft law issue. Article 80 of the GDPR foresees NGOs to have a role in supporting data subjects to also allow NGOs to bring their own cases. We think that noyb.eu can thereby facilitate the enforcement by being an outside pace maker. DPAs should also benefit by getting more targeted and researched complaints on their table.
According to you, what is the “next big thing” in the field of privacy and data protection?
I think after GDPR the next big thing will be putting this law into practice, despite all legal uncertainty in the law and the enormous economic interests to limit the impact of the law. On the regulatory front I think we will have to take a closer look at monopoly building, which often has a big overlap with privacy issues and then obviously the big issue of algorithms and AI – where we still have very limited understanding of how to tackle this issue.
Which word comes first to your mind if you think about privacy?