Privacy Seminar


Taming of the Shrew: Could the GDPR really keep in check the Data

The GDPR (or the General Data Protection Regulation) took the world by storm last year. It is rare, if not unique, for a piece of European legislation to become so popular that it enters global mainstream. Several factors contributed to this, including the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal and the ensuing debate on online political microtargeting, which is seen as contributing to the outcome of significant recent events, like Brexit and the 2016 US elections. The permeation of technology into our day to day lives, monitoring how we walk to how we sleep, together with the unprecedented fines the GDPR proposes for misuse of personal data by creators of technology are other factors that brought this piece of legislation to stardom. But what is the GDPR? What does it really do? How does it work? Did it actually pop up in 2018 out of the blue? What is the history behind it? This lecture will provide an overview of the GDPR, looking at its history, placing it in context and explaining its main mechanisms. 

Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna is a thought leader in Transatlantic privacy. She works as EU Policy Counsel for the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank based in Washington DC, where she leads the work on European privacy law and policy and its impact on all focus areas of the FPF, including de-identification, AI, mobility, adtech and education. Gabriela is also independently consulting different types of organizations, from universities to start-ups and not-for-profits, on their GDPR compliance programs. She often publishes research and analysis on privacy law and policy and speaks at conferences.

Prior to moving to the US, Gabriela worked for the European Data Protection Supervisor in Brussels, being part of the team that advised the EU legislator on the GDPR during its legislative process. She dealt with both enforcement and policy matters, was a member of the EDPS litigation team, as well as actively participated to the work of the Article 29 Working Party. She holds a PhD in law (2013, University of Craiova) with a thesis on the rights of the data subject from the perspective of their adjudication in civil law and an LLM in Human Rights, after obtaining her law degree. Gabriela is also associated researcher with the Law, Science, Technology and Society Center at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and runs pdpEcho

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