Who will be Europe's privacy champion? Oh, go on then, Mr Deputy

Assistant chief becomes the boss. And it took EU HOW LONG to decide that?

After a false start last year, Europe has finally found someone to be its new data protection chief.

Members of the European Parliament voted on Tuesday night to make Giovanni Buttarelli the European Data Protection Supervisor; he was, until now, deputy supervisor. Wojciech Rafał Wiewiórowski will take over as his assistant.

The outgoing supervisor, Peter Hustinx, was due to step down after his five years at the helm last January, but despite a Europe-wide call for candidates, no one suitable could be found. Odd, since Buttarelli's hat was certainly in the ring back then.

EU officials say the hold up was with the entire shortlist. On Monday night MEPs grilled the five candidates for the two roles for three hours. Wiewiórowski has been Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data in Poland since 2010 and specifically applied for the assistant position, rather than the top job.

"The importance of better coordination and enforcement by EU data protection authorities is strengthened by the elected candidates," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the MEP charged with overseeing the new Data Protection Regulation.

"They represent experience and continuity in a time where a strong EDPS presence will be key especially with regards to the implementation of the new data protection rules all over Europe." ®

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