The Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) is an academic research institute that is European in location and global in scope. It concentrates exclusively on data protection and privacy, and is an entity of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB, Free University of Brussels), a leading Belgian university located in central Brussels. The Hub focuses on legal issues, but also incorporates expertise from disciplines such as computer science, economics, philosophy, and sociology, among others.


The Hub is governed by a board of directors comprised of Prof. Paul De Hert and Dr. Christopher Kuner. The work done by the BPH is also informed by input from its advisory board. The members of the advisory board are currently as follows:


  • Martin Abrams, Executive Director, Information Accountability Foundation
  • Prof. Colin J. Bennett, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Mr. Willem Debeuckelaere, Former President, Belgian Privacy Commission
  • Dr. Ludmila Georgieva, Google
  • Raegan MacDonald, Senior EU Policy Manager, Mozilla
  • Massimo Marelli, Head of Data Protection Office, Data Protection Officer, ICRC Geneva
  • Iverna McGowan, Director of the Europe Office, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Paul Nemitz, Principal Advisor of the Director General of DG Justice.
  • Corinna Schulze, Director, EU Government Relations, SAP
  • Prof. Paul Schwartz, University of California at Berkeley
  • JoAnn Stonier, Chief Information Governance & Privacy Officer, MasterCard Worldwide
  • Sophie In 't Veld, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE/D66), Member of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Further individuals will be added to the advisory board in due course.

The Hub solicits financial support from foundations, corporations, private donors, international organizations, and government entities. These relationships are vital to the pursuit of our ambitious educational and public interest goals.

The Hub is committed to impartiality and independence in our research; intellectual riguour; and transparency. The following principles govern our association with funders, in order to preserve the Hub’s intellectual independence.

We do not accept grants that limit our ability to carry out research as we see fit, and do not undertake research or accept funds at the request of outside organizations unless it is consistent with our existing research agenda, mission, and overall philosophy. We are transparent about our funding sources, announcing the receipt of funds through our normal communication channels.

In cases where funding is offered for sponsored research or activities, its terms are set forth in agreements between the donor and the Hub, which include specific guarantees for academic independence.

These policies apply in addition to the relevant policies of the VUB. We will continue to develop them further as needed to ensure that we are doing our utmost to maintain the integrity of the Hub, our work, and our community.

Brussels Privacy Hub activities are made possible through reliance on the resources of VUB Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS) and on the financial support from partners including Data Industry Platform; Deutsche Telekom; the Future of Privacy Forum; Google; the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP); the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Mastercard; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and SAP. Further financing is obtained directly through activities including training and education.

All members of the Brussels Privacy Hub Academic Staff are full or part-time on the payroll of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and its Faculty of Law and Criminology (where they are integrated in the Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS)). The financing obtained through Hub activities and through the financial support from Hub partners is used to pay an Hub-PhD position, the Hub-adminstrative staff, the Hub-visiting scholar programme, the Hub-seminars that are open to the public and  to complement the salaries of the members of the Brussels Privacy Hub Academic Staff with a part-time position in the Faculty.


“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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Brussels Privacy Hub

Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussels



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