As the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) Conference is about to celebrate its 10th birthday, we look back at 10 years of CPDP programmes and their covers.
It all started in October 2007 with the brochure of the ‘Reinventing Data Protection?’ International Conference, which took place in October 2007 at deBuren, in Brussels. The orginal handout mixed a photocopied hand and a barcode, a simple yet effective combination producing a sort of modern allegory of human beings in modern societies, difficult to surpass.
Perhaps fearing that indeed such a telling image was impossible to surpass, in 2009 the Conference came back with a handout with almost exactly the same picture. Continuity was also guaranteed by the fact that the event was again held in deBuren, and also came with an interrogative title: ‘Data Protection in A Profiled World?’, the Conference wondered. The gathering had already adopted what was to become its official name, Computers, Privacy and Data Protection International Conference, and this time it took place in January, which was to eventually become the CPDP month for many years. The repeated cover picture did have some negative effects, notably generating a certain degree of anxiety among those who were distributing it, as they were never sure they were distributing the right one.
By its third edition, in 2010, CPDP continued to search for its marks and started to be celebrated on the week of the Data Protection Day, also known as Data Privacy Day, which is the 28th January as many data subjects know. This time the event came with a very assertive title: ‘An Element of Choice’, proclaimed the programme, and the cover picture saw a person comfortably floating over a multimedia sea. Exceptionally, the event was organised at the Kaaitheater.
The 2011 programme made a clin d’oeil to the original edition by bringing back a hand, although this time not photocopied but X-rayed and holding a mouse, and now against a white background. 2011 was the year CPDP moved to Les Halles de Schaerbeek, and also the year that the Conference started to have an official duration of three days. The title of the 4th edition pondered: ‘European Data Protection: In Good Health?’.
The white background started to become recurrent with the 5th edition, in 2012. By then, optimism appeared to be in the air, in light of the confident title: ‘European Data Protection: Coming of Age’. The cover leaned towards abstraction with a close up of a fragment of a sandglass, possibly hinting somehow that coming of age takes time.
In 2013, the 6th CPDP edition opted for an even closer relation between message and image, illustrating that it was all about ‘Reloading Data Protection’ with a half-loaded battery. The novelty of having an almost solid blue background was compensated by the reassuring way in which the ‘reloading data protection‘ reverberated the primal ‘reinventing data protection?’ mantra.
Not about re-inventing or re-loading data protection but about re-forming it was the 7th edition of CPDP in 2014. That year the Conference was titled ‘Reforming Data Protection: The Global Perspective’, and the illustration emphasised the importance of this global perspective with a globe where countries were depicted in different shades of blue, reigning over a white background.
Abstraction was the keyword in 2015, when the idea of ‘Data Protection on the Move’ that guided the 8th edition of CPDP was graphically encapsulated by a blurry image of what could be imagined to be data, dynamically going in all directions against a black space, for reinforced dramatic effect.
Magritte was one of the main sources of inspiration for CPDP 2016‘s graphics: a bowler hat and suit were worn by a data network-like (almost) invisible man, against the by then already classical white background. The image appropratetly reverberated the 9th edition title, concerned with ‘Invisibilities & Infrastructures’.
Finally, this years’ CPDP comes with the promising slogan ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines’, accompanied by an exclusive drawing signed by Rayman and based on an idea by Dara Hallinan. All quintessential elements of a good CPDP programme cover are thus there, announcing a great 10th edition.