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Interview with Privacy Awards judge Mabel de Vries

Every year, Privacy First organises the Dutch Privacy Awards. The jury of these Awards consists of independent privacy experts from various sectors, in their personal capacity. Below, Awards jury member Mabel de Vries tells something about herself and the Awards:

Who are you and how did you get on the Awards jury?
"I am Mabel de Vries and this year is my 2e year as a jury member. Last year, I was approached by jury chair Magdalena Magala and Paul Korremans, board chair of Privacy First. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the Privacy Awards are a beautiful and encouraging initiative, so saying 'yes' was almost a given."

Why are you joining the jury, what do you really care about?
"Supporting and advancing privacy awareness has for many years been one of my motivations why I entered the privacy field. Being able to support entrepreneurs and organisations in taking their ideas further and thereby further developing privacy awareness is very motivating and rewarding work."

Can you talk a little about the intersection of your daily life and profession with privacy?

"My parents were forced to leave their homeland for their safety and came to the Netherlands. Many technological developments threaten daily the protection of an individual's personal environment, their safety and well-being. From personal experience, I know their effect on the freedom of action that we all want so much. If, through my jury membership, I can secure a few building blocks and thereby make the threats a little less, for now and into the future, I am already satisfied."

What can someone who registers for the Awards expect in the near future?

"All judges have a high level of commitment, professionalism and motivation to raise privacy awareness in the world. Each submission will be guided by a tandem of two judges to see how the shortlisted submission can be positioned.

To that end, interviews will be held and in-depth questions will be asked to best assess and position the submission within the privacy frameworks."

What do you think a nomination or award could entail?

"These are many aspects. First, a nominee gets exposure by publicly communicating the nomination. This briefly explains the presentation of the entry to the public. In addition to a nice picture, the winners receive wide attention from Privacy First on publications and social media. Incidentally, it also gives a huge boost to the nominees and winners because it is often seen as confirmation of hard work. That enthusiasm is contagious and heartwarming."

What privacy development are you watching most closely this time and what do you think needs to be addressed?

"One of the developments that has been going on for a while is the ever-growing appetite for more data collection. The carelessness of this in areas of privacy awareness, AVG compliance, but also information security demands a more integrated approach. Currently, in many organisations, these are still too many islands that tend to get in each other's way, when they should actually reinforce each other. This is not only unfortunate, but also risky.

One nice development, though, is that as an FG (Data Protection Officer), I increasingly see that in a DPIA phase, those parties have to seek each other out by necessity at first, but gradually enjoy working together and respect and embrace each other's areas of expertise."