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On Wednesday, 28 June 2017 from 17h00 till 19h00 the Muntpunt in Brussels will host a book launch and an evening debate on Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Relations as a Challenge for Democracy. This book, co-edited by Dan Svantesson and Dariusz Kloza, is a fruit of collaboration of 30 authors from all over the world, who have provided their views on (the protection of) data privacy in relations between Europe and Americas as a challenge for democracy, the rule of law (Rechtsstaat) and fundamental rights.

This book includes contributors of international stature who deal with Snowden and Safe Harbour, but also go beyond them to address some of the key topics affecting privacy at the international level. The topics are timely and the authors highly qualified, and the book will be of interest to anyone interested in privacy and data protection law and policy” – recommended Dr Christopher Kuner, Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub.

The editors decided to put Bruegel’s ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’ on its front cover, which definitely can be considered as a little bit provocative. In this painting, the fall of Icarus, an important event known from the Greek mythology, remains ignored by the onlookers. Icarus is drowning, but nobody notices it. The editors, by juxtaposing the topic of EU-US data privacy relations and the symbolic meaning of the ‘Fall of Icarus’, are clearly sending a warning that these issues should not be ignored” – commented Michał Czerniawski, one of the authors contributing to the present book.

The foreword, introduction and the table of contents can be previewed here.

This is already the 4th volume in European Integration and Democracy series, edited at the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies at the University of Białystok (Poland) and published by the Belgian-based and increasingly well-known publishing house Intersentia. It has become a tradition that with each new volume in the series, a dedicated seminar is organised – shortly after each book is out – to celebrate its launch.

This book launch will take shape of panel discussions amongst its many authors as well as invited experts. It will look into these relations through the lens of the human rights protection and the role of the new data privacy law in the European Union. Wojciech R. Wiewiórowski, Assistant European Data Protection Supervisor, will join with a keynote on ‘The Ocean that Connects Us. Trans-Atlantic Perspectives on Privacy‘.

The event is jointly presented by the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies, University of Białystok; Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; and the Centre for Commercial Law, Bond University in cooperation with Brussels Privacy Hub and Intersentia.

The programme is available here.

Attendance is free of charge, yet due to limited capacity, registration is required. There are still a few places available. Please contact at info@brusselsprivacyhub.org.

Venez nombreux!

p2_farewell_slide_v4-colorWith a set of more than 50 recommendations for the improvement of practical cooperation between data protection authorities, a multi-national research consortium – led by Prof. Dr. Paul De Hert of Vrije Universiteit Brussel – concluded a four-year research initiative in the framework of two projects named “PHAEDRA”. These studies were commissioned and financially supported by the European Union.

Personal data no longer stay within one country. They are constantly being exchanged between jurisdictions and this elevates risks for both individuals as well as public and private organisations. When something goes wrong – for example a data breach – the consequences are not only often serious, but also these consequences equally often occur in more than one country. Given the importance of information for contemporary economy and national security, an adequate response to tackle this challenge is therefore critically needed. It is a global standard in data protection law that dedicated supervisory authorities have been set up not only to sanction violations of this branch of law, but also to work to prevent these violations from happening. These authorities normally have been busy with matters concerning their own countries. As these days personal data transcend boundaries, these authorities now need to work together efficiently to achieve this double end” – said Prof. De Hert.

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picture by Janis Lanka (@flickr)

On 20 July 2015 the PHAEDRA II project consortium published its first deliverable: Authorities’ views on the impact of the data protection framework reform on their co-operation in the EU, authored by David Barnard-Wills and David Wright (Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP).

This report provides the findings from a series of interviews with senior representatives of EU data protection authorities (DPAs) in April-May 2015. Topics covered in the interviews include the main developments of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including the consistency mechanisms, one-stop shop, European Data Protection Board (EDPB), and their impact on cooperation between EU DPAs; challenges to co-operation and co-ordination between EU DPAs; cooperation and coordination regarding enforcement and the perspectives of the DPAs on the activities envisaged within the PHAEDRA II project – a repository of key DPA decisions, investigating the feasibility of a common approach to complaint handling, mapping enforcement powers and technology watch activities.

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by opensourceway (@flickr)

The PIAF project has come to an end. Since January 2011, for 22 months, the consortium comprising Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (VUB-LSTS)Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP and Privacy International has conducted research on privacy impact assessment for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Justice.

On the occasion of publication of the final deliverable on the recommendations for a PIA policy for the EU (December 2012), edited by Paul De Hert, Dariusz Kloza and David Wright, the consortium has issued the following press release:

PIAF consortium releases final report:
Privacy impact assessments should be mandatory and engage stakeholders

Press release
19 Dec 2012

Privacy impact assessments should be mandatory and must engage stakeholders in the process, says a consortium in its final report to the European Commission after a multi-country research project.

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The collective volume A Threat Against Europe? Security, Migration and Integration, co-edited by Peter Burgess, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Serge Gutwirth, LSTS Chairman, has been published by VUBPress. The book provides theory and empirical case detail on several primary issues such as the forms of insecurity motivatating the movement of migrants to internal and external displacement or to sometimes risky trips to other countries; the becoming insecure of people while they are on the move, and the insecurity of migrants in their destination countries. Table of contents: here (pdf).