The EU General Data Protection Regulation and international data flows

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 9:30 AM - 12:45 PM [CET]

Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Geneva, Switzerland, 1202, Switzerland

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018 9:30 AM - 12:45 PM [CET]

Maison de la paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Geneva, Switzerland, 1202, Switzerland.

Rapid technological developments and globalisation have brought new challenges for protection of personal data. Technology allows private companies and public organisations make use of personal data on an unprecedented scale.While global data flows create economic opportunities and incentivise new business models, the demand for the protection of personal data is growing. Consumers around the world increasingly cherish and value their privacy and companies worldwide recognise that strong privacy protections give them a competitive advantage as confidence in their services increases.


The European Union has recently reformed its data protection rules. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into effect on 25 May 2018, completing the process of intensive debate and reflection on how to best protect EU citizens’ personal data, and how to balance this with the legitimate interests of business operators.


Several countries and regional organisations outside the EU, from the EU’s immediate neighbourhood to Asia, Latin America, and Africa are also adopting or updating data protection legislation to harness the opportunities offered by the global digital economy and respond to the growing demand for stronger data security and privacy protection.


The European Union Delegation to the UN in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Austria in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform organise this conference to discuss personal data protection and data flows.

The event aims to attract broad international audience including Permanent Missions,

International Organisations, Swiss authorities, non-governmental and private sector, academia as well as civil society.


The first panel will focus on the increasing convergence of data protection norms at international level and its potential to benefit human rights, trade and international cooperation.

The second panel will discuss the consequence of the new European General Data Protection Regulation on international data flows from citizens' and businesses perspective.




09:00 - 09:30 Registration and Welcome


09:30 - 09:45 Opening

  • Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva


Panel discussion moderated by Tom Miles, Reuters.

09:45 - 11:00 Modern data protection laws: towards global convergence


  • Ambassador Dragana Filipovic, Permanent Observer of the Council of Europe to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva
  • Bruno Gencarelli, Head of the International Data Flows and Protection Unit, European Commission (DG JUST)
  • Prof. Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director and Co-lead, Secretariat of the UN Secretary General High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation
  • Dr. Matthias Schmidl, Deputy Head of the Austrian Data Protection Authority


11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 - 12:45 Citizens' and businesses' perspective


  • Max Schrems, privacy activst, founder of the platform My Privacy is None of Your Business
  • Riccardo Masucci, Global Director of Privacy Policy, Intel
  • Dr. Katarzyna Lasota Heller, Attorney in Law, Managing Partner at, Supporting Partner at Crypto Vally Association Zug
  • Dr. Yaniv Benhamou, IP & Privacy lawyer, Lecturer University of Geneva


12:45 - 13:00 Closing remarks





EU Geneva

European Union, the 2018 Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Geneva Internet Platform

Contact the Organizer