PCO20 | News: This was the Privacy Conference 2020

This was the Privacy Conference 2020

Two days full of exciting content, input from almost 50 international speakers and a wide-ranging programme that covered current data protection issues and the evaluation of recent tech trends equally ensured that the Privacy Conference 2020 was a great success. 1,000 participants followed the first purely digital Privacy Conference 2020. Also, the new Bitkom survey on GDPR implementation and regulatory impact was released at the Privacy Conference 2020. 


Bitkom Press Release: only one in five companies has fully implemented the GDPR

In the pandemic year 2020, data protection requirements make it difficult for many companies to maintain their operations. For example, many companies have limited or no access to digital applications for home office collaboration because of data protection requirements. In addition, more than two years after the start of the data protection regulation, the vast majority are still struggling with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These are the results of a representative survey among more than 500 companies in Germany, which Bitkom presented at the Privacy Conference.

According to the survey, only one in five companies (20 percent) has fully implemented the GDPR and also established verification processes for further development. More than a third (37 percent) has implemented the rules for the most part, and a similar group ( 35 percent) has partially implemented them. At the same time, 6 per cent have only just begun to implement the rules. "The still low implementation figures are sobering," says Susanne Dehmel, Member of Executive Board of Bitkom. "The General Data Protection Regulation cannot be worked through like a specification sheet. On the contrary: due to unclear regulations and additional requirements of the data protection authorities, the GDPR has become a bottomless pit". This is confirmed almost unanimously by the companies surveyed. 89 percent think so: The General Data Protection Regulation is practically impossible to implement in full.

You can find the full press release in German language here.


Day 1 | 28 September 2020

The 6th Bitkom Privacy Conference was opened by Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice. In his keynote he gave a detailed presentation on data strategy and the data economy. During his speech the Commissioner also announced the SCCS regarding Schrems II to come soon.

During the very first panel discussion of the #pco20, speakers from industry and regulatory authorities discussed the question of how data protection could become a driver for the data economy. There was a broad consensus among Eva Gardyan-Eisenlohr (Senior Legal Executive and former Group Data Privacy Officer of Bayer), Anna Morgan (Head of Legal and a Deputy Commissioner of the Irish Data Protection Commission) and Wojciech Wiewiórowski (European Data Protection Supervisor) that the GDPR has strengthened public awareness of data protection and its importance. Wojciech Wiewiórowski pointed out once again that trust and security are essential for the success of data-driven business models. Without data protection, no IT security could be achieved. Similarly, without it, data protection could hardly be achieved even without IT security. At the same time, the role of the supervisory authorities was also crucial for the development of new business models. Many entrepreneurs hope for clearer guidelines in many questions of interpretation.

Also in the digital space, networking should definitely play a role. The programme on the first day of the conference ended with an interactive networking session on data protection & digital marketing. Cecilia Álvarez Rigaudias (EMEA Privacy Policy Director of Facebook) and Sharon Marshall (Director EMEA Partnership Solutions – Data Trust at Google) discussed current issues and challenges of GDPR-compliant digital marketing as well as the advantages that data protection can offer in marketing with the head of trust and security at Bitkom, Rebekka Weiß.
Following exciting presentations and discussions, the numerous international experts who took part in the event gathered for networking with digital drinks on the virtual event platform.


Day 2 | 29 September 2020

After a successful start on Monday afternoon, the second day of the #pco20 offered a packed programme with many high-level speakers. The second day of the conference was opened by Professor Ulrich Kelber – Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information of Germany. In his keynote, he took a look at the first evaluation of the GDPR and pointed out the unfavourable fragmentation in the national interpretation of the GDPR.

One of the main topics of the second #pco20 day was the international data transfer – also with a view to Schrems II and the associated uncertainty. In his keynote speech, Peter Fleischer (Global Privacy Counsel of Google) gave a breakdown of the topic, pointing out that the questions were on a technical, legal and political level. In his view, it is up to the political decision-makers to solve the question of legally secure data transfer to third countries.

In the following panel discussion, Bojana Bellamy (President of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton Andrews Kurth) Paul Gaskell (Deputy Director, DCMS) and Peter Fleischer lively discussed the consequences of Schrems II, the possible effects of Brexit on intra-European data transfers and possible solutions on the way to legal certainty.

Also video conferencing – one of the most controversial discussed topics of the last months – was a topic of the Privacy Conference 2020. Together with Josh Kallmer – Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations of Zoom – the organisers discussed data protection and privacy issues of video conferencing. Josh Kallmer pointed out, that Zoom wants to be a part of the European and German ecosystem and therefore of course commits to German and European rules.

Besides presentations, keynotes and panel discussions, the Privacy Conference 2020 offered also Deep Dive Workshops and a Legal Live Hack. Topics of the workshops and live consultations were – among others – data ownership, golden data protection rules for businesses or GDPR, AI and the use of video data.

We thank all speakers and participants for their insights, presentations and inputs as well as the comments and questions during the lively discussions in the conference chat rooms. Also, we thank our Premium Partners, Partners and Media Partner for their support that made the #pco20 a successful event.

The recordings of the 6th Bitkom Privacy Conference will be published soon online and on our YouTube channel.

Save the Date! The Privacy Conference will be back next year. We invite you to join us again on 27 & 28 September 2020! The ticket shop will open soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed immediately.

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