IAPP Global Privacy Summit – April 2022

April 21, 2022

Jane Murphy

EDPO attended the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington DC (12 & 13 April). Here are the main insights from the conferences:

The IAPP Global Privacy Summit kicked off with a great opening session.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “Tech is neither inherently good or bad. It’s what we make of it. It’s a mirror that reflects the people who make it, use it, regulate it”. He added that “People can’t escape their moral responsibility by saying that the machine made them do it. Those who make the tools have a responsibility towards the people they service. Privacy cannot and will not become a relic of the past.”

EU Commissioner Didier Reynders said that “tech and innovation will not come at the cost of values and fundamental rights.” The US and the EU have been working on a new data transfer framework agreement for a year. It will provide safeguards to limit the access of data by governmental authorities in the US. He added: “The work continues: the details need to be finalised and translated into legal text. This could be finalised by the end of the year. This confirms once more how much the US and the EU can achieve with their shared values.”

Brad Smith from Microsoft led a great closing session of the successful IAPP Global Privacy Summit.

“We enter a new era of technology”, he said. “We need a large community and a new mindset to manage tech through the decade ahead.” We can look at tech through two lenses: the present where data can help us solve global issues around the world; and the past where we see that similar rapidly developing technologies were regulated by governments because it had such a big impact on life and law (see the development of the railroad in the US for example).

“However, no industry has ever had to adapt so quickly on a global basis. We’ll need to mature and lean in, to coordinate within governments and across borders, and we need people who think creatively. Progress in a democracy always requires compromise and that’s difficult to find. Comprehensive legislation in the US is not just needed but long overdue. The lack of legislation doesn’t stop global regulation; it just makes the US less influential. This will not be easy, this will not be beautiful. But the future can be bright.”

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