The collected DPAs attending the 35th Annual Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners showed a united front and that they mean business. As part of his keynote speech kicking off the open part of the conference, Polish Minister of Administration and Digitization Michel Boni said, “We need regulations. Hard regulations. In Europe, we have a discussion pending-we have to make sure it is a strong law to harmonize the laws of all the states rather than a directive.”
This sentiment was echoed by Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the executive committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. “Even more than before,” he said later in the day, “we stand ready to work together to tackle contraventions with our respective legislation and ensure the best possible protection of our citizens. The only way to maintain a high level of protection is for data protection authorities to cooperate closely. We will actively work together in selecting targets for cross-border investigations. If companies break our laws, they should be ready to deal with an international and cooperative response.”It should not be surprising, then, that one of the resolutions to come out of the conference’s closed session is “to further encourage efforts to bring about more effective coordination of cross-border investigation and enforcement .” Perhaps the most practical part of the resolution is a mandate for the International Enforcement Coordination Group to develop a common approach to cross-border case handling and enforcement coordination, hopefully to be adopted at next year’s conference.