Now in its fourth year, the GPA Global Privacy and Data Protection Awards celebrate the achievements of the GPA community and shine a light on good practice.

GPA Global and Privacy Awards 2021 Winners

The winners of this year’s Awards are:

  • Education and Awareness: European Data Protection Supervisor
  • Innovation: Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France
  • Accountability: Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), UK
  • Dispute Resolution and Enforcement: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, and Commission d’accès à l’information du Quebec (Joint entry)
  • People’s Choice Award: Gibraltar Regulatory Authority

Watch the video with the acceptance speeches here:

Global Awards FAQs

Who can apply?

Any GPA member authority can apply.

How can I apply?

Please complete the award entry form and email it to no later than Wednesday 16 June 2021.

The entry form solicits a description of the initiative with links or pictures as appropriate and an explanation as to why it deserves to be recognised with an award. The form should also include information to be used for administrating the awards, or to verify eligibility, such as contact details. It is important that you complete all fields of the form.

Please note that Rule 6.2. of the GPA Rules and Procedures regarding Assembly document translations apply. [1]

What are the award categories that I can apply for?

This 2021 award categories to which GPA members can apply include the following:

  • Education and public awareness
  • Accountability
  • Dispute resolution and enforcement
  • Innovation
  • People’s Choice

Entries can relate to any initiative taken by the member authority since January 2020, until the closing date. Initiatives may include anything at all, such as any guidance resource, investigation, tool, publication, video, conference, website, partnership, poster, speech, policy, app, intervention, etc.

Category descriptions:

Education and public awareness

This category is largely influenced, albeit not exclusively by the valuable work in the GPA Digital Education Working Group (DEWG). The DEWG has created tools for authorities to make their efforts in digital education available to peers and helped instil a culture of sharing experience in that space. Other public awareness initiatives will also be considered, including those that are not in the digital space.


Even when not explicit in the law, accountability of organisations processing personal data/information is implicit in most privacy and data protection laws. What are member authorities doing to promote this concept of accountability and ensure that it makes the successful transition from law to practice?

Dispute resolution and enforcement

This category builds upon the focus that the Conference has placed on enforcement cooperation in several resolutions in recent years.

This triple category reflects the multi-faceted roles that Data Protection and Privacy Authorities perform which always covers at least one of the following roles and often encompass all three:

  • Dispute resolution: mediating or investigating and resolving issues where it appears to an individual that the law has been breached.
  • Enforcement: taking many forms, enforcement involves taking formal action in relation to non-compliance with the law.


Entries will set out how an initiative/project undertaken primarily by a conference member is working effectively to support innovation and address disruptive business models. The award will help illustrate how conference members are using innovation to deliver their own work more effectively.

People’s Choice Award

The People’s Choice Award will again feature in this year’s award line-up!

The People’s Choice Award will be subject to an open vote among GPA members from amongst the shortlisted candidates of each of the other awards’ categories.

What is the award entry submission deadline?

Deadline for entries is 16 June 2021.

Will my entry be made public?

Yes. Please be sure to fill in the award entry form with this fact in mind.

We will need to copy-paste your award entry description onto the GPA website, so please edit this accordingly before submitting. The GPA Secretariat will upload all submitted entries to the GPA website after the award entry deadline to inform the GPA community on the wide range of great work that authorities do and provide your project with that bit of extra publicity.

How will the Awards be decided?

The Awards will be assessed for shortlisting by the Executive Committee, then submitted to a vote on the shortlist by the GPA membership.

The Executive Committee will act in their role as elected representatives from the various global regions of the GPA membership. A volunteer member of the Executive Committee leads the discussions and decision-making on all award categories and follows the usual process set out in the GPA Rules and Procedures, Rule 3.2 (Consensus or failing this, majority of the votes cast). Those entries shortlisted will have been determined by the Executive Committee award jury as providing an outstanding example of good practice in that category.

The Executive Committee will announce the shortlisted candidates by the end of June. Thereafter, the GPA Secretariat will launch an online vote, so that each GPA member can cast its vote and designate the award winner from amongst the projects shortlisted in each category.

In addition, all shortlisted entries will compete in the ‘People’s Choice’ category, for which all member authorities’ staff will be invited to vote.

Voting will close by 13 August 2021.

What if I am shortlisted?

Then congratulations are in order! The Secretariat will contact you with the outcome of the Executive Committee’s decision and to inform you about next steps.

What if I am not shortlisted?

Your project will still receive publicity because it will be shared with the global data protection and privacy community featured on the GPA website, in the awards section.

When will the Award Winners be announced?

The winning entries will be announced during the Global Privacy Assembly 2021 (43rd Annual Meeting) Closed Session.

What format will the Global Awards have this year?

Given the uncertainty regarding international travel in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic globally, together with the fact that the GPA 2021 (43rd Annual Meeting) will be held in Mexico as a hybrid event (both in-person and online), the GPA Global Privacy and Data Protection Awards 2021 will be held as an online pre-recorded event and announced around the time of the Annual Meeting. The GPA community will then have the opportunity to watch the Awards in their own time zones and at their leisure.

What principles apply to the Awards process this year?

The Awards in 2021 aim to uphold the vision and mission of the GPA, with the following objectives in mind:

  1. Significantly simplifying the process;
  2. Being fair, transparent and accountable in shining a light on good practice;
  3. Providing an appropriate degree of member participation and control to ensure that the awards are a product of the Conference community for the Conference community;
  4. Providing equal opportunity to members large and small to win an award;
  5. Avoid placing too much burden on members to review large volumes of entries.

What safeguards are there in the assessment process?

The Executive Committee members can submit entries, but they are prohibited from voting for their own entries both in the shortlisting process, and in the subsequent online voting process. This includes the People’s Choice Award voting process.

No GPA member can vote for their own shortlisted entry.

How do I vote?

GPA Members will get the chance to vote on the 2-3 shortlisted projects for each award category, as well as a vote on all those shortlisted entries to determine the People’s Choice Award winner. More details on how you can vote will follow.

[1] GPA Rules and Procedures, Rule 6.2 ‘Assembly documents’:

Without prejudice to section 4.2, Assembly documents, including accreditation and observer applications may be submitted in English or in another language. In the latter case, the documents shall be accompanied by an English version. Members with the ability and the resources to do so are encouraged to translate proposed resolutions and other Assembly documents such as the Assembly Rules and Procedures.