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Data Protection Officers Needed in the EU

Peter Fleischer, Google Global Privacy Counsel, notes that most companies with over 250 employees will likely need a Data Protection Officer as a result of updates to European law . He rightly notes that such updates should increase basic data protection awareness in companies, though I have concerns about the effectiveness of securing privacy through data protection.

To be sure, breaches will hopefully be assuaged (though almost certainly not stopped) but data will be protected to the letter of the law as opposed to being secured to the level of citizens’ normative expectations of privacy. As a result, the legalization of data protection and privacy will continue to let companies engage in practices that citizens find upsetting without those practices actually being outlawed or banned.