Europe faces data protection vacancy

No suitable candidates applied for the job of EU data protection czar

Europe could be without a data protection chief from next week as none of the candidates applying for the job appear to have the required qualifications.

The European Data Protection Supervisor's five-year tenure runs out on Jan. 16. On Wednesday, the incumbent, Peter Hustinx, wrote a letter to the European Commission expressing alarm about leaving the position vacant.

"This uncertainty and the possibly long delays that may be involved, as well as their different consequences, are likely to harm the effectiveness and the authority of the EDPS over the coming months," wrote Hustinx. He pointed out that as a new law on data privacy is going through the European Parliament, the E.U. is currently "in a critical period for the fundamental rights of privacy and data protection" and that a strong EDPS is essential.

The EDPS is appointed by common accord of the European Parliament and the Council, based on a short list drawn up by the Commission following a public call for candidates.

Although the call for candidates went out last year, Commission spokesman Antony Gravili said that "the selection panel concluded that none of the candidates had the qualities that are needed for the job."

In the past such a scenario has led to the publication of a new vacancy notice and a relaunch of the selection procedure, Gravili said. No decision has yet been made on how to move forward in this particular case. The Commission hopes that Hustinx will agree to stay on in the post until a suitable replacement is found, he added.

The Commission is seeking candidates with proven experience in data protection issues, either as a member of a data protection supervisory authority or in a large private or public organization; practical experience in the implementation of data protection rules and the ability to act with independence.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitydata protectiongovernment

More about European CommissionEuropean Parliament

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jennifer Baker

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts