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The Baffling Case of the Headless EDPS

DATA PROTECTION—EU

January 16, 2014

On Thursday, in his last speech of his mandate as European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Peter Hustinx urged Germany to take the lead in reform of the EU data protection framework. And now, after 10 years of service, Hustinx is retiring from “what is in essence the EU’s top data protection authority.” But the future leadership of the office is in question. Earlier this month, news came out that a “selection board” found that none of the successor candidates were “sufficiently qualified” for the position, thereby delaying the selection, possibly by months. “After working in Brussels for the last 15 years,” writes Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Senior of Counsel Christopher Kuner, “I have become accustomed to the byzantine machinations of European politics.” But, in this installment of Privacy Perspectives, Kuner notes the “spectacle that is currently unfolding … paints a particularly dismal picture of how data protection in the EU can become a political football.”
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