Head of Austria’s DPA Elected as New Chair of Art 29 WP

The Austrian data protection authority chief, Andrea Jelinek, won elections in Article 29 Working Party to take the position of a new chair of the EU’s data watchdog in upcoming months until GDPR coming into force in May 2018. Head of CNIL Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin stepped down from the position after four years of being chairwoman.

During the press conference after Art 29 WP Jelinek was very brief. She thanked her predecessor for all her work and cited recitals one and four of the GDPR as guiding principles: “Our program is to be defenders for data protection and to raise awareness regarding [data protection as a fundamental right] and to support data subjects to fight for their rights”.

Jelinek has been the leader of Austrian DPA for four years since the beginning of 2014. Austria is the second EU country after Germany that has aligned its national data protection law with GDPR. The country is known for having tough attitude to personal privacy.

It is still unclear what will happen in May 2018, when the EDPB goes into effect. According to EURACTIV sources close to the group, most likely national data protection supervisors will hold a symbolic vote to re-elect Jelinek.