Dr Ian Brown, Senior Research Fellow, OII and Associate Director, Cyber Security Centre, University of Oxford
Speaker: (Click on the speakers name below to listen to the recording of the session)
Director, Fundamental rights and Union citizenship European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice
Already before the revelations of Edward Snowden, empirics in Europe and the US showed concerns as to what is done with personal data on the internet and in the hands of aggregators.
This concern has further increased, in particular among professional clients, with the coming to light of hand in hand surveillance activities of major internet companies, NSA and GCHQ.
For many, these revelations are a wake up call which gives an additional impetus to the reform of data protection in Europe.
At the same time, the US recognises the need for domestic surveillance reform, as well as a strengthening of commitments to the protection of personaldata of Europeans under the Safe Harbour arrangement.
But are European Governments able to capitalize on these developments, are they able to agree on strong data protection, and thus to create the big trust in Europe necessary for sustained growth in the digital, bigdata and cloud economy and the good functioning of the digital internal market?
While the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority has approved the data protection regulation, and has at the same time called for a suspension of the EU – US Safe Harbour, thus underpinning the call for reform, some Governments do not seem to understand that strong regulation for trust in the digital economy will be an important competitive advantage for European companies in the future – in the same way that strong regulation to protect trust in the integrity of financial markets is key to attracting investors.
Paul F. Nemitz is the Director for Fundamental rights and Union citizenship in the Justice Directorate-General of the European Commission. Free movement of people in Europe, Data protection and Children's rights are also key responsibilities of his Directorate.
Before joining DG JUSTICE, he held posts in the Legal Service of the European Commission, the Cabinet of Commissioner Nielson, and in the Directorates General for Trade, Transport and Maritime Affairs. He has a broad experience as agent of the Commission in litigation before the European Courts and he has published extensively on EU law.
Paul studied Law at Hamburg University. He was admitted to the Bar in Hamburg and for a short time was a teaching assistant for Constitutional law and the Law of the Sea at Hamburg University. He obtained a Master of Comparative Law from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he was a Fulbright grantee. He also passed the first and second cycle of the Strasburg Faculty for comparative law, supported by a grant of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
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