For this first message since Hong-Kong and even if it was quite a long time ago I would like to start by thanking Stephen Kai-yi Wong and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong for hosting such a wonderful Conference. It was a great moment but also a symbolic one because we, collectively, as the Conference, decided to set up the scene for our future. This is extremely positive since it shows that we have come to a mature stage where we can ask fundamental questions such as: who are we and where do we want to go collectively? How can we make a difference and bring added value in the current global ecosystem?
Based on the solid work conducted on the future size and membership of the Conference the past year, we have decided, with my co-Chair of the Working group, Daniel Therrien, to rely on existing networks to gather as much as we can our views and feed our reflections with this substance. The more open the process will be, the more fruitful and legitimate the output will be.
In November, I joined Daniel for the 48th APPA Forum in Vancouver where we kicked off this first discussion. Participants expressed views on a wide range of issues such as the Conference’s influence and policy leadership, its global outreach and cohesion, but also its governance, structure and cooperation methods. For sure, the ideas put forwards in Vancouver will be a valuable input in defining new objectives and the necessary means to achieve them. On top of it, we had the chance to discover the extraordinary Vancouver scenery and had a great time with our colleagues.
This month, the French-speaking data protection authorities network (AFAPDP) held a meeting in Paris on the occasion of its 10th anniversary and also dedicated a session to the future of the International Conference. Again, with Daniel, we organised the discussion and, after a lively debate, many concrete proposals were put on the table. As in Vancouver, the exercise was not to agree on a position but to hear all views and gather all inputs in order to trigger the reflexion process. Then the authorities viewed the exhibition “Terra Data” within the Paris Sciences and Industry Museum. A great attempt to give concrete life to our subjects, which are sometimes a bit theoretical for the general public. If anyone is interested, this exhibition can tour!
The next rendez-vous for the consultation process will be in February in Brussels where EU authorities, members of the Article 29 Working party will get involved; other networks will follow in the upcoming months, so let the discussion continue!
Discussions reports of the APPA and AFAPDP meetings will be sent to you shortly and to the members of the working group on the future of the Conference.
On the European side, please let me just give you a quick update on our progress made regarding the GDPR implementation. We are finalising our guidelines and we expect to adopt most of them by the end of February in order to give as much as possible a clear interpretation of this new EU legal framework. All these documents are available online, so please feel free to have a look, and let us know what you think of them. Also, I am happy to share with you that a GDPR event will be organized in Brussels in October 2018, at the next international conference. Having all of us gathered at the same time in Europe the year the Regulation enters in application, just seems the perfect opportunity to have a “GDPR Talk”. Additional details will be communicated in due time but, for now, please pin down this event in your calendar!
This is all I can tell you now, before the year ends. I will end my note by wishing you, in all languages, a very, very Happy New Year 2018. I hope to see you join the conversation on the future of our Conference and I very much look forward to continuing the discussion with you,.
Chair of the International Conference executive committee