Christoph Klug (Representative of the Confederation of European Data Protection Organisations – CEDPO (www.cedpo.eu) and the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security – GDD (www.gdd.de)
– The year 2013 has been intense in news about privacy. Which one would you highlight and why?
The Snowden revelations, because of the worldwide attention and the following promises by US President Obama to reduce surveillance. But also the almost unanimous LIBE voting in favor of a General Data Protection Regulation, because this shows that the European Commission and the European Parliament are ready to modernise EU Data Protection law.
– Cloud, Big Data, Internet of things, automated cars… From the privacy perspective, which point of view should we adopt in view of the changes in technology?
In addition to technology neutral provisions in the law, we need more transparency, anonymisation, pseudonymisation, privacy by design and default etc. and adequate incentives to produce and use privacy friendly technologies.
– If in 2014 the European Union does NOT see a new Regulation on Data Protection, what do we win, and what do we lose as EU citizens? And as privacy professionals?
We would perhaps lose an excellent opportunity to modernise and harmonise EU data protection law. This would not increase the level of trust among EU citizens. In addition, this could be a wrong signal in the current transatlantic discussions about data protection and privacy, also with regard to a possible free trade agreement. We might also miss an excellent opportunity to harmonise and strengthen the important role of the data protection officer (DPO) EU-wide.
– Which role should be played by the privacy professionals in the society?
We should continue to raise and increase awareness. As data protection professionals, we should not get tired of promoting and practicing balanced, practicable and effective data protection.