European Data Protection Supervisor
European Data Protection Supervisor



The Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor participate in a wide range of conferences and meetings. They are also invited to contribute editorials to newspapers, magazines and journals. You can find their speeches and articles, as well as our speaking engagements policy, in this section.


Data Protection Day


28 January is Data Protection Day. The date marks the anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 on the protection of personal information, the first legally binding international law in the field of data protection, and is celebrated every year by the 47 countries of the Council of Europe as well as the EU institutions.

To mark the occasion the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) will be holding a lunchtime conference on the Internet of Things. The conference will take place on 10 February 2017 between 12 noon and 1.30pm in the European Parliament, room A3G-2. The conference is only open to trainees working at the European institutions but you can watch it live using our webstreaming service and interact with us on twitter using the hashtag #IoToasterEvent.


Ethics in the Digital Era

As part of this year's prestigious Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) conference, the EDPS is hosting a panel discussion on Ethics in the Digital Era. Good data protection law and effective enforcement are necessary in our digital society. However, the exponential possibilities of digital technologies have challenged the principles of both data protection and privacy rights and have highlighted their limitations. Compliance with the law and data protection principles is important but it’s also important to explore what goes beyond them. As part of the international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era, members of the Ethics Advisory Group (EAG), an independent group of experts, established by the EDPS will share the state of play of their deliberations. The panel discussion is a public event (you do not need to be CPDP ticketholders to attend) and will be held in Les Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels from 6.30-7.30pm on Thursday 26 January 2017.

Moderator: Raegan MacDonald, Mozilla (CA)
Welcome: Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS
EAG Chair: Peter Burgess, Ecole Normale Supérieure (US)
EAG Members: Antoinette Rouvroy, Université de Namur (BE),
Luciano Floridi, Oxford University, (IT)
Aurélie Pols (NL),
Jeroen vanden Hoven, Delft University, (NL)
Jaron Lanier (US)


Computers, Privacy and Data Protection 2017: The age of intelligent machines


The annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference will take place from 25-27 January 2017, at Les Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels. CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. In an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, computer scientists and members of civil society from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has made CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world.

CPDP2017 will focus on Artificial Intelligence as its overarching theme, including timely and thorough discussion of a broad range of ethical, legal and policy issues related to new technologies. CPDP2017 will stage more than 60 panels addressing current debates in the areas of information technology, privacy and data protection. Already lined up are panels on the compliance of companies with the GDPR, Big Data and insurance, the implications of Brexit for data protection, a review of the ePrivacy Directive and online behavioral advertising, social robots and data protection, the EU-US Privacy Shield, algorithmic decision-making, cybersecurity, and much more.

CPDP is also an extraordinary networking opportunity to mix and mingle with the privacy and data protection community.

For more information and to register visit

You can also follow CPDP on Facebook and Twitter


DPO-EDPS meeting

The DPOs in the EU institutions and bodies, around 60 in total, organise themselves in a network, which the EDPS actively supports. The main feature of this network is the DPO meetings, which take place twice each year. These meetings have taken place since 2004 and represent a valuable opportunity for DPOs to share experiences from their respective institutions both with one another and with their supervisory authority, the EDPS. The meetings are also an opportunity for the EDPS to present our policies and activities to DPOs, who are our close partners and main contact points within the EU institutions and bodies.
The next DPO meeting will take place at EUIPO in Alicante on 27 October 2016. It will include discussions on EDPS inspections, Data Protection Impact Assessments, right of access and restrictions and EDPS Guidelines on mobile devices and web services.
For more information please consult the agenda.


Data Protection in Financial Technology (FinTech), Insurance, and Medical Services: a New Regulation and Perspectives

The Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) will hold a two-day seminar on data protection in the FinTech, insurance and medical services sectors. Hosted by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the event is open to both lawyers and non-lawyers and will take place between 30 September and 1 October 2016.

The FinTech, insurance and medical services sectors all face common challenges when dealing with particularly sensitive data. While big data and new technologies have created new opportunities for these sectors, these developments also raise significant data protection concerns. The seminar will explore the challenges of finding a balance between the adoption of these new technologies, the search for competitiveness and the need to protect personal data, and how we can address them. Conclusions will be presented by European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli alongside Dean Spielmann, a judge at the General Court of the European Union.

More information on the event and how to register can be found in the event programme.


EDPS-BEUC Conference on Big Data: individual rights and smart enforcement

Technology disrupts all aspects of our lives - in good ways and bad. Meanwhile, basic rights such as privacy, freedom of expression and non-discrimination are under unprecedented strain. Big Data and the Internet of Things bring policy, regulatory and enforcement challenges that require a holistic approach to ensure that the rights and interests of individuals are safeguarded in the coming decades. 

The EDPS, in collaboration with European consumer organisation BEUC, is hosting a joint conference on Big Data: individual rights and smart enforcement in Brussels on Thursday 29 September 2016. The conference will include panels on online platforms, smart technologies and the Digital Single Market. Speakers include EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, Federal Trade Commissoner Terrell McSweeny, BEUC Director General Monique Goyens and European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli.

This high level conference will bring together leading regulators and experts in the competition, data protection and consumer protection spheres to discuss key areas of economic and societal change, to promote closer dialogue and cooperation among regulatory and enforcement bodies and explore how to better respond to the challenges our society is facing.

The registration was closed on Monday 12 September.

Follow #BigDataRights and stay tuned!

You can find out more about EDPS work on big data here

Video recording of the meeting & the video message of Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CONNECT, European Commission.

Presentations :

Finn Myrstad, Head of Digital Services, Norwegian Consumer CouncilPDF icon
Chairman, YesLogicPDF icon
Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, Director of the Competition Law ForumPDF icon
Bjørn Erik Thon, Commissioner, Norwegian data protection authorityPDF icon
AgendaPDF icon

Digital Festival

Digital Festival 2016 takes place at The Egg in Brussels on 21 June 2016. This festival of ideas provides an opportunity to challenge and better understand the impact and potential of digital technologies.

As part of the festival, the EDPS has organised a workshop entitled Data Protection by Design: Privacy as an engineering principle. As people become increasingly aware of the threat of mass surveillance, the demand for more privacy friendly technologies is increasing. In the EU, data protection by design and by default will soon become a legal obligation, under the new data protection rules to be applied by May 2018. The workshop will address the different approaches to privacy engineering, the current challenges faced and initiatives, such as the Internet Privacy Engineering Network (IPEN), which aim to overcome these challenges.

The workshop takes place from 2.45pm-4pm and will be moderated by EDPS IT specialist Achim Klabunde. Confirmed speakers include Aurelie Pols, Estelle Masse, Jetzabel Serna and Aristotelis Tzafalias. To attend, please register online for the Digital Festival.


2016 EDPS-Civil Society Summit

For the second year, the EDPS met with civil society organisations to discuss the state of data protection and privacy in the EU. On the agenda this year was the implementation of the GDPR and the directive on data protection rules for the police and criminal justice, the review of the ePrivacy Directive, and developments in case law in the last 12 months, notably Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner and the proposed Privacy Shield agreement. 

The meeting took place at the EDPS premises in Brussels from 9.30am-12.30pm. If you have any questions, please write to us at with '2016 EDPS- Civil Society Summit' in the subject line, and we will send you further details about the event. The videos of the event are available here: video 1, video 2.

Follow #EDPSCivSoc2016 and stay tuned!

Programme of the meetingPDF icon
Implementation of GDPR: consistency, flexibility, guidelines, presentation by Anna Fielder, Privacy InternationalPDF icon
The e-Privacy Directive: what's at stake?, presentation by Prof. Ian Brown, University of OxfordPDF icon
Necessity and proportionality, presentation by Ralf Bendrath, German Working Group on Data Retention and Digitale GesellschaftPDF icon
EDRi analysis on the most dangerous flexibilities allowed by the General Data Protection RegulationPDF icon
E-Privacy revision: an analysis from civil society groupsPDF icon

EU Open Day Brussels



Open Days 2016 - English version

Your personal information is collected, shared, used and stored by individuals, organisations and public authorities every day. Recruitment activities, video surveillance and health data collection are just a few examples of this. It is the job of the EDPS to ensure that the European institutions and bodies respect your data protection rights when they process your personal data.

The EDPS stand will be at the European Parliament as part of the EU institutions' Europe Day celebrations.

Located on the first floor of the ASP building, next to meeting room 3G, EDPS staff will be on hand to answer questions about your privacy rights and how to protect your personal information. Free goodies and information will be on offer, as well as fun and interactive activities for both children and adults to enjoy. You will also have a chance to win one of 20 USB sticks, simply by taking part in our fun, simple quiz!

Whether shopping online, using a smartphone or applying for jobs, data protection affects us all, so be sure to visit us at our stand to find out more!

For more information visit the Europe Day 2016 website.


DPO-EDPS meeting

For a number of years, the DPOs in the EU institutions and bodies have met at regular intervals to share common experiences and discuss horizontal issues. These meetings which take place twice a year have been a regular fixture in the EDPS calendar since 2004 since they are a valuable opportunity to listen to DPOs sharing experiences from their respective institutions with one another and with their supervisory authority - us. These meetings are also an opportunity for the EDPS to present our policies and activities to DPOs. The upcoming DPO meeting at Eurofound in Dublin on 28 April 2016 will include discussions on the EDPS' e-communications guidelines, staff appraisal, whistleblowing and cloud computing.

For more information please consult the agenda.


Annual Conference on European Data Protection Law 2016



On 7-8 April 2016, the Academy of European Law (ERA) will be organising in Brussels its Annual Conference on European Data Protection Law with the support and participation of the EDPS.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) about to be passed, it is time to assess the concrete innovations it will introduce and to focus on how to implement it in practice. The conference aims at providing legal practitioners and data protection specialists with the necessary guidance to prepare for GDPR implementation and to realise its full potential. The conference will also include an update on the EU-US Privacy Shield.

For more information and to register, please click here


Fifth workshop on data protection as part of good governance in international organisations



The EDPS and the International Committee of the Red Cross will host the fifth workshop on data protection as part of good governance in international organisations. Taking place in Geneva, the workshop will be a forum to discuss data protection within international organisations and for officials from the EU institutions and bodies and international organisations to share best practice.

For more information visit:


European Data Protection Day


47 countries of the Council of Europe as well as European institutions, agencies and bodies will celebrate the tenth annual European Data Protection Day. This date marks the anniversary of the Council of Europe's Convention 108 on the protection of personal information, the first legally binding international law in the field of data protection.

The EDPS will mark the date with a series of events, including a conference co-hosted by the European Parliament and the EDPS for EU officials on the EU data protection reform (webstreaming available here from 10am) and a lunch conference on Smart Sharing. Also taking place will be the annual CPDP conference, featuring various presentations by EDPS experts as well as a panel, hosted by the EDPS, on Data, Dignity and Technology - Exploring Digital Ethics.

This panel will be followed in the evening by a live transatlantic discussion on big data, organised by the EDPS, the Council of Europe and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Register here for free to watch the discussion live online.

Watch our video!


Smart Sharing - A Lunchtime Trainee Conference Data Protection Day


Technological development implies bigger opportunities but also bigger challenges when it comes to data protection. In their daily lives, people constantly share information, whether they are using a tablet, searching online or communicating through social media.

However, are they really in control of the personal data they are sharing? Do they know how their personal information is processed by others? While data subjects are knowingly sharing their data online, they may be unaware of the long-term effects of their activities and the e-reputation they are building.

At this exclusive lunchtime conference for EU institution trainees, the EDPS will give you an insight into the world of data protection and provide the tools to help you stay in control of your personal information. The conference will be webstreamed and everyone can get involved in the debate through Twitter #DataProtectionDay .

For more information consult the conference programme.


Computers, Privacy and Data Protection 2016: [In]visibilities and Infrastructures


The EDPS, as a premier sponsor of the CPDP conference, is delighted to once again be supporting this event, which EDPS Giovanni Buttarelli has described as the epicentre for creative ideas, sharp analysis and fierce debate on privacy and data protection.

The EDPS and Assistant Supervisor, as well as EDPS staff, will take part in various panels and activities during the three-day conference, which this year coincides with the tenth annual European Data Protection Day on 28 January. To mark the occasion, the EDPS plans to launch an ethics advisory group as part of a panel on Data, Dignity and Technology. The group will be charged with assessing the ethical implications of how personal information is defined and used in the big data world.

This panel will be followed in the evening by a live transatlantic discussion on big data, organised by the EDPS, the Council of Europe and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Register here to watch the discussion live online.

The EDPS, as supervisor of the EU institutions, will once again deliver the closing speech at the conference, where he will focus on 2016 as a landmark year for data protection, not only for the EU institutions, but for all individuals.

For more information and to register visit:

You will also be able to follow our live tweets from the conference @EU_EDPS


37th International Privacy Conference


From 26 to 29 October 2015, the Dutch Data Protection Authority will host the 37th International Privacy Conference. The Conference will take place at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. It aims to bring together data protection and privacy commissioners from around the world to discuss how we can build bridges between each of our data protection and privacy regimes.
For more information visit the Conference website.
For information on attending the opening-night reception, to be hosted by IAPP at the National Maritime Museum on 27 October 2015, visit the IAPP website

Competition Rebooted: Enforcement and Personal Data in Digital Markets



The EDPS and the European Academy of Law will hold a workshop in Brussels, entitled Competition Rebooted: Enforcement and Personal Data in Digital Markets.

The workshop will focus on a range of topics related to market analysis, personal data and privacy and competition law enforcement. It aims to provide competition law practitioners with an insight into new developments in the field and to deepen understanding of the growing role of data in competition law.

For more information and to register visit the ERA website.


Second Workshop of the Internet Privacy Engineering Network (IPEN), Leuven


The IPEN initiative will hold its second workshop, hosted by KU Leuven. The workshop will include discussion on topics such as privacy engineering in education and privacy in standardisation, with presentations from European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli and other experts. For more information about IPEN and to register, please see the IPEN Workshop 2015 event page.


EDPS Meeting with NGOs on the Data Protection Reform

The European Data Protection Supervisor has invited civil society groups to a meeting on the data protection reform package, discussions on which are ongoing.  The invitation is extended to all the signatories of a recent letter calling on the EU to ensure 'stronger, unified data protection rules'.

The discussion, which will take place on 27 May 2015 in Brussels, will be filmed for publication on our website shortly afterwards, as part of the EDPS's commitment to understanding better stakeholder views, and to dialogue with experts from all sectors on how to ensure data flows are regulated in the interest of the individual.


European Conference of Data Protection Authorities


From 18 to 20 May 2015, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office will host the European Conference of Data Protection Authorities, which will take place in Manchester.

The Conference will focus on delivering rights for individuals, with a clear and practical call to action. The aim should be to ensure that individuals are able to easily exercise their rights.

Registration for the conference will close on 10 April 2015. The event is open to members of accredited data protection authorities and observers, and will be an opportunity for delegates to address subjects of common interest and help advance the fundamental right to data protection.

To register for the conference:

For more information: