Press Release

Annual Privacy Forum 2020: Policy and Research Unite to Advance Security of Personal Data

The EU Agency for Cybersecurity, the European Commission and the Catolica University of Portugal attract more than 500 participants at the 8th annual forum to discuss cybersecurity aspects of privacy and data protection.

Published on October 23, 2020

On 22-23 of October, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Commission and the Catolica University of Portugal (UCP), with support of the Portuguese Data Protection Authority (CNPD), co-organised the 8th Annual Privacy Forum (APF), a renowned event focused on bridging the gap between policy and research in the area of privacy and data protection. The year’s event recorded more than 500 participants and was held in a virtual format.

The value of personal data in a digital environment has grown significantly over the last years as electronic products, services and processes have become more integral to everyday life. Limitations in the transparency, the functionality and interconnectivity of online and communication services increase the risk of having personal data processed without the required safeguards and level of protection.

The EU legal framework on privacy and data protection (the General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive) aims to better control the processing of personal data while ensuring an adequate level of protection. A key element for personal data protection is the proper use of security measures and privacy enhancing technologies as they offer practical protection mechanisms and support the application of legal provisions.

EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said: “In today’s data-driven world, cybersecurity and data protection should be considered as complementary components impacting the entire lifecycle of electronic products, services or processes.”

This year’s APF opened with welcome speeches by Acting Director of Directorate CNECT H, Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity Jakub Boratyński and UCP School of Law Dean Jorge Pereira da Silva. On day one, European Data Protection Supervisor Wojciech Wiewiórowski; Deputy Chair of the European Data Protection Board Ventsislav Karadjov; and President of Portuguese Data Protection Authority Filipa Calvão presented keynote talks around the topic of ‘Crossroads of Privacy and Technology’.

This two-day event brought together policy-makers, data protection practitioners, researchers and industry experts to discuss the latest advancements in tracking and the practical implementation of de-identification, as well as research work in the areas of impact assessment, transparency, security and privacy by design.

The EU Agency for Cybersecurity has been working for several years on technical aspects in the areas of privacy and data protection.The Agency has contributed to bridging the gap between the legal framework and the available technical measures by providing an inventory of existing approaches, privacy by design strategies and technical building blocks, such as pseudonymisation and encryption. In an effort to support organisations and especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Agency has also proposed a risk-based approach for the adoption of security measures for the protection of personal data. Pursuant to the EU Cybersecurity Act provisions, the Agency is seeking to contribute further to the implementation of specific cybersecurity aspects, while promoting the exchange of know-how and best practices.


The Annual Privacy Forum (APF) has become a renowned forum among policy-makers, researchers and industry stakeholders in the area of privacy and personal data protection who join forces to advance information security. The forum is set against the EU legislative background that is mainly, but not exclusively, comprised of the GDPR and the draft ePrivacy Regulation. The event sets the stage for new research proposals, solutions, models, applications and policies. In the last few years, the forum has also developed a deeper industry footprint to complement its original research and policy orientation. The 9th Annual Privacy Forum is scheduled to take place in June 2021 in Olso, Norway, in co-operation with University of Oslo.

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