FPF Expanding EU Programming
BRUSSELS – October 1, 2019 – The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today announced Robbert van Eijk as managing director for its operations in Europe. In this role, Eijk will implement FPF’s agenda in Europe, oversee its day-to-day operations, and manage relationships with stakeholders in industry, government, academia, and civil society.
“European data protection policies are driving privacy practices around the world,” said FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky. “As an established leader in the data protection field, Rob has technical and policy expertise that will be a tremendous asset as we provide on-the-ground guidance to European stakeholders navigating the dynamic data protection landscape.”
Prior to serving in this position, Eijk worked at the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) for nearly 10 years and has since become an authority in the field of online privacy and data protection. He represented the Dutch DPA in international meetings and as a technical expert in court. He also represented the European Data Protection Authorities, assembled as the Article 29 Working Party, in the multi-stakeholder negotiations of the World Wide Web Consortium on Do Not Track. Eijk is a technologist with a PhD from Leiden Law School focusing on online advertising (real-time bidding).
Peter Swire, FPF Senior Fellow and Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, worked with Eijk on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Do Not Track process, which involved more than 100 organizations, and found him to be uniquely constructive. “Rob’s combination of technical insight, policy savvy, and integrity as a person is outstanding,” said Swire. “Rob is an acclaimed expert in EU data protection and the technology of processing personal data, while also understanding perspectives from the United States and globally. He will be a great leader for FPF in Europe.”
Eijk started his professional career in the automotive industry. As an onsite consultant, he specialized in dealer-network planning. Before joining the Dutch DPA, he founded a company with a focus on office automation for small-sized enterprises. In 2008, he sold the company, BLAEU Business Intelligence BV, after he had run it successfully for nine years. Eijk expects to deploy this expertise in the European tech market, helping local startups, entrepreneurs and technologists establish the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate tech and innovation policy.
“The Future of Privacy Forum could not have made a better choice than appointing Robbert van Eijk as Director for its European operations. He is a brilliant expert in privacy and technology matters and has contributed enormously to the European and international debate on these issues,” said Alexander Dix, Former Chairman of the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (Berlin Group).
Eijk will collaborate with FPF EU senior policy counsel Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna to expand FPF programming to bridge the gap between European and U.S. privacy cultures and build a common data protection language. Through its convenings and trainings, FPF helps regulators, policymakers, and staff at EU data protection authorities better understand the technologies at the forefront of data protection law. Last year, FPF kicked off its Digital Data Flows Masterclass, a year-long educational program designed for regulators, policymakers, and staff seeking to better understand the data-driven technologies at the forefront of data protection law and policy.
“FPF has a great reputation in the EU for bringing diverse stakeholders together to develop practical policy approaches to emerging technologies,” said Eijk. “It’s exciting to be part of a talented team exploring best practices for data portability, user control, the ethical use of AI, data research, anonymization, and other issues critical to data protection and fundamental rights in Europe and around the world.”
On 19 November, FPF will host its third annual Brussels Privacy Symposium in partnership with the Brussels Privacy Hub of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Details about the event, Exploring the Intersection of Data Protection and Competition Law: The 2019 Brussels Privacy Symposium, can be found here.
Future of Privacy Forum
About the Future of Privacy Forum
Future of Privacy Forum is a global non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. Learn more about FPF by visiting www.fpf.org.