The IAPP has gathered predictions from privacy professionals in 56 nations across six continents in their publication 2023 Global Legislative Predictions. Charles Helleputte and Diletta De Cicco provide their predictions for Belgium.

2022 was a bumpy year for data protection in Belgium, at least when looking at its primary enforcer, the Belgian Data Protection Authority. 2023 will serve as a year zero for the renewed ADP 2.0. Following too many press headlines, resignations and an infringement procedure launched by the European Commission, the time for a reshuffle in leadership has come. Historic and prominent figures were dismissed or resigned; new leadership took the rein of a reorganized body mid-2022.

This year will serve as a test case on at least three majors fronts for the ADP:

  • Deliver on the use of codes of conduct as a transfer mechanism in the cloud area, a matter that has less to do with the pioneer position of Brussels in the sector and more to do with the country (in particular its capital) being home to many trade associations (and you can also say cloudy sky, if you happen to live here).
  • Confront its reasoning in the International Advertising Bureau Europe case with the outcome of the proceeding that is pending in front of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which could have far-reaching implications.
  • Lodge a call for additional funding with the government to prepare — on time for once — to deal with the upcoming new roles the ADP will play in the future, including following the upcoming adoption of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act.

2023 will finally be the last chance for strategic progresses in the long list of EU digital files (the AI Act, the Data Act, etc.) as well as the progressive entry into force of those files already adopted at the EU level. Their impact will reshape the landscape across the EU, including the stakeholder interest in the legislative process concentrated in Belgium.