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Presentation of the 2017 Data Protection by Design Award

20/06/2017 10:06
Foto Premiats

Mr. Joan López de la Franca, Cofounder and Technology Director of Neptune Communication Solutions SL, Ms. Maria Àngels Barbarà, Director of the Catalan Data Protection Authority, M.H.Ms. Carme Forcadell, Speaker of the Parliament of Catalunya, Mr. Bjørn Erik Thon, Commissioner of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority and Emiliano de Cristofaro, Senior Lecturer at University College London.

Premi 2017

Mr. Emiliano de Cristofaro and M.H.Sra. Carme Forcadell


Mr. Joan López de la Franca and M.H.Ms. Carme Forcadell

Presentation of the fifth edition of the Data Protection by Design Award

The Catalan Data Protection Authority has been organising the Data Protection by Design Award for the last five years. It thus anticipated the obligations in terms of data protection by design and data protection by default that have been included in the General Data Protection Regulation, approved by the European Union and mandatory as from May 2018. The aim of the Award is to acknowledge technological solutions in the area of protecting data of a personal nature, enhance the implementation of security measures, facilitate compliance with legal obligations, strengthen people’s control over their own information and, in general, assist the progress of privacy management.  

In this Edition, the jury has decided that the 2017 Data Protection by Design Award should go to University College London, for the project entitled Privacy-Preserving Analytics via Scalable and Private Data Collection, and the honourable mention to the Catalan company Neptune Communication Solutions SL, for their instant messaging app Nepcom.

The award-winning project is a platform that enables personal data protection to be guaranteed in big-data projects. It is an open-source software addressed to application developers to optimise the processing of huge quantities of information in a way which is respectful with the right to protection of personal data. Obviously, the direct use of user data would not allow for respect of the right to privacy; consequently, it is necessary to employ a set of techniques to gather statistics from massive volumes of data and, at the same time, safeguard privacy, all within a reasonable computational cost.

Furthermore, the platform also includes differential privacy techniques to ensure the privacy of output data. These techniques seek to find a point of balance between privacy and accuracy of the data.

The jury also recognised with an honourable mention the Nepcom instant messaging application, presented by the Catalan company Neptune Communication Solutions SL. This is a messaging app for business use which incorporates a confidential mode and information encryption, which avoids server access to the message content.      

The awards were presented by Ms. Carme Forcadell, Speaker of the Parliament of Catalunya.