I’m extremely pleased that what I first envisioned in 2017 and presented in my inaugural lecture at Maastricht University in 2019 has taken shape – today we have published the first-ever complete CSR framework for data protection aimed at improving privacy and security for a sustainable digital future!
The Maastricht University Data Protection as a Corporate Social Responsibility Framework (UM-DPCSR) is the result of the related research project which officially started on 1 January 2020 and was completed on 31 December 2021. During these past two years, I worked together with Kate Francis (PhD candidate) and a multi-stakeholder research group to concretize the concept and create the Framework.
Mere legal compliance cannot sufficiently protect the fundamental rights and freedoms that we uphold, especially in the European Union, and adequately mitigate the possible risks for individuals presented by new technologies and data-driven economic models.
The UM-DPCSR Framework translates theoretical ethical principles into tangible and practical guidelines to build a solid framework for organisations to apply in order to foster transparency, accountability, fair, and secure data processing activities that positively contribute to the greater good of a sustainable data-driven economy and a democratic digital society. Our objective is to trigger virtuous data protection competition by creating an environment that identifies and promotes data protection as an asset which can be used to help companies to responsibly further their economic targets.
From 1 April 2022, we will start accepting submissions from organisations that would like to adhere to the Framework. In 2023, third-party verification by accredited auditors will also be provided. More information on adherence to UM-DPCSR is available here.
Many thanks to all the stakeholders who participated in this project, your participation has contributed to the completeness, robustness and feasibility of the Framework from the legislative, ethics and business points of view!