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ITechLaw Announces Spiros Simitis, "Father of Data Protection", as 50th Anniversary Award Recipient for European Conference

The International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw) celebrates 50 years of being the leading global organization for legal professionals focused on technology and law. To celebrate this milestone, international members of ITechLaw created an outstanding achievement award for contribution to the field of technology and law, for each of the 4 global conferences this year, the second of which was presented at the 2022 European Conference, 19-21 October 2022 in Zürich, Switzerland.

We are honored to announce that Spiros Simitis has been selected as the second recipient of this global award and recognition. Known to many as the “Father of Data Protection,” Spiros Simitis has had a remarkable personal and professional engagement in data protection.

For over 50 years, Spiros Simitis has been at the forefront of data privacy and regulation.  Professor Dr. Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann, LL.M. shared with ITechLaw that “Spiros Simitis understood that information, if recombined and processed with machine capacities, would challenge the foundations of individuality, freedom of choice, and autonomy and alter the potential of the law and the individual to balance power.” Spiros Simitis developed three core principles of the right to information, self-determination, and freedom of information. Spiecker gen. Döhmann stated “It was his belief that the understanding of data protection and freedom of information is the backbone of a democratic society, thus the need to protect society against the exploitation and manipulation of the power of knowledge.

These core principles enabled the development of data protection around the globe. Spiros Simitis’s work and influence can be traced back to the first world data protection law including the General Data Protection Directive of the EU (EU GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), and Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI).

ITechLaw congratulates Spiros Simitis and recognizes the tremendous progress he has made for the advancement of data privacy. Without his brilliance and early foresight of the issue, the industry would look much different today.