New Director of Spain’s Data Protection Authority announces her strategy

Following her appointment on 24 July, Mar España Martí, the new Director of Spain’s national Data Protection Authority (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos - AEPD), was introduced to the media on 27 July at the AEPD’s office in Madrid by Justice Minister, Rafael Catalá. Martí announced her plans for her four year term. She declared her intention to foster a proactive data protection culture in preparation for the EU General Data Protection Regulation. In her view, the AEPD has too often been perceived by stakeholders only as a sanctioning body and she declared that it is now time to demonstrate the commitment of Spanish society to the right to privacy. For this reason, the Agency needs to become more proactive and engage with public and private actors, and other stakeholders, including individuals, to foster innovation compatible with the respect for privacy. She will be looking for an equilibrium between the right to privacy and the demand for transparency and information.

Martí was proposed by the Ministry of Justice with the support of the Government and the Council of Ministers. Martí was elected by the AEPD’s Advisory Council, of which she is a member, and the decision was then ratified by Spain’s House of Commons (“Congreso de los diputados”). The other nine members of the AEPD’s Advisory Council, appointed on 3rd July, were nominated by the House of Commons; the Senate; Ms María Àngels Barbarà i Fondevila, director of the Catalan Data Protection Authority; Mr José Ignacio Pariente de Prada, director of the Basque Data Protection Authority; the Spanish Federation of Local Provinces and Municipalities; the Royal Academy of History; the Universities’ Council; the Council of Consumers and End-Users; and Spain’s Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Service and Shipping.

Martí has been a civil servant since 1989, and has a LL.B. and a Masters degree in Human Rights Protection. Before joining the AEPD, she was Deputy Minister of the Castilla-La Mancha regional government body. She has also been General Secretary, Ombudsman’s office; Advisor, local TV channel Canal Sur; Director, the Andalusian Education Supervisory Authority; General Secretary of the Institute of Women Rights; and technical advisor, the Education Supervisory Authority, Cantabria, Northern Spain.

Source: Sara Degli-Esposti, Executive Director, Asociación Española para el Fomento de la Seguridad de la Información - ISMS Forum, Madrid, Spain.