The Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) is an academic research centre with a global focus. As an entity of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels or VUB), it uses its location in Brussels, the capital of Europe, to engage EU policymakers, data protection regulators, the private sector, and NGOs, and to produce innovative, cutting-edge research on important questions of data protection and privacy law and policy. Brussels is where key decisions are taken on data protection in the European Union, and EU rules set the standard for data protection and privacy law around the world.
The BPH’s main goals are to produce privacy research of the highest quality; bring together leading thinkers from around the world; and foster an interchange of ideas among privacy stakeholders in a climate of intellectual openness.
We are guided by the following principles:
We believe strongly in the relevance and importance of data protection and privacy law, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the rapid development of technology and globalization.
We also believe that fresh and innovative thinking based on multidisciplinary research is necessary to meet these challenges. The BPH thus brings together scholars from a wide array of disciplines who will collaborate with the private sector, policymakers, and NGOs to produce cutting-edge research.
Our work is carried out in a manner that is neutral, transparent, and is guided by the highest standards of ethics and impartiality.
We believe in network-building, and have built a strong network of contacts with other leading privacy researchers both inside the EU and outside Europe with whom we will work.
We focus on all areas of data protection and privacy research. Among our main areas of interest are empirical research on privacy issues; privacy governance and regulation in the EU; global flows of data; reconciling law enforcement and privacy interests; privacy challenges posed by new technologies; comparative research on privacy in different regions; jurisprudential issues of privacy protection; and many others.
Our activities will include ones such as the following:
Publishing high-quality academic research of all types.
Bringing prominent visiting scholars to Brussels for short- or long-term visits.
Training the next generation of privacy lawyers and privacy officers.
Organising workshops, seminars, and public debates on specific themes of interest.
Attracting a select group of PhD students.
Participating in the work of international organisations.
Bidding for EU tenders.
Creating synergies with other leading privacy research centres.
Playing an integral role in further development of the annual CPDP conference.
In particular, the BPH seeks to serve as a source of expertise for EU policymakers and a venue where they can engage in reasoned, non-political discourse on the growing number of complex issues in this field.
“Brussels is a natural place to come since it is a global hub when it comes to, among others, issues in data protection. In particular, the Brussels Privacy Hub serves as an important venue
for data protection professionals, not just from the EU but from other parts of the world, where
important ideas are discussed and disseminated.”
Professor Haksoo Ko, Visiting Scholar 2016
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