European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx traveled in frigid, snowy conditions from Brussels to London on 2 December for an interview presentation at the London Offices of Hogan Lovells attended by lawyers from the Hogan Lovells global Privacy and Information Management Practice as well as clients and friends of the firm.
The interview coincided with visits to Europe of US Hogan Lovells privacy partners Barbara Bennett, Marcy Wilder and Chris Wolf, who participated in the IAPP Privacy Congress in Paris earlier in the week, and meetings with EU Hogan Lovells privacy colleagues in London, including:
Quentin Archer (London)
Roger Tym (London)
Mac Macmillan (London)
Winston Maxwell (Paris)
Stefan Schuppert (Munich)
Hanno Timner (Berlin)
Marco Berliri (Rome)
Gonzalo Gállego (Rome)
Lionel de Souza (Paris)
Massimiliano Masnada (Rome)
Messrs. Maxwell and Schuppert and Ms. Wilder presented in Paris on Binding Corporate Rules and Mr. Wolf presented on the balancing of fundamental rights of privacy and anti-piracy. The London meetings were organized by Barbara Bennett and Quentin Archer and focused on global developments in privacy law and how best to provide seamless privacy law services to clients around the world with multi-jurisdictional needs.
The session with Mr. Hustinx, conducted by Hogan Lovells practice leader Chris Wolf, started with the observation that the firm’s practice is now the largest privacy practice in the world, and thus what happens in the EU with respect to privacy has great significance for clients of the firm. The focus of the interview was on the recently-issued draft agenda of the European Commission on privacy.
Mr. Hustinx spent about an hour discussing many of the details of the draft agenda, including the process for its consideration, the concepts of the “right to be forgotten,” changes to the ways in which notice and choice are implemented, how national privacy laws might be harmonized across the EU, how cross-border transfers outside the EU might be facilitated, and the efficacy of increased enforcement and penalties.
Two observations by Mr. Hustinx stand out:
- The current EU data protection framework will stay in place for the next 4 to 5 years, as the process for consideration and implementation of the changes embodied in the Commission’s draft agenda will be lengthy and thorough.
- The day will come when the United States privacy framework will be recognized by the EU as providing “adequate protection” and thus allowing cross-border transfers without the employment of auxillary legal tools. Mr. Hustinx concurred in the observation that the FTC Report issued on 1 December contained concepts now present under the EU Directive and paralleled in significant ways the Commission’s draft privacy agenda. Mr. Hustinx declined to say when the time for the EU adequacy recognition for the US would come, but suggested it was not in the immediate future. He applauded the closer working relationship between the US and the EU on privacy matters, following a mention of greater US governmental attention to privacy issues, and said there are privacy protection concepts from around the world that may be adopted in the EU – that global exchanges of best practices is in everyone’s interests.
Hogan Lovells expresses enormous appreciation to Mr. Hustinx for meeting with us, and especially for the arduous travel to and from London he endured to be with us.