BE-CYBER : Sovereignty & data protection in the current geopolitical context

The first attack in the Ukraine war was not physical – it was digital. Shortly before the first missiles struck, Ukraine was being targeted by widespread malware attacks designed to disrupt access to information and critical services. As people were fleeing the country, they saw themselves cut off from essential data such as national IDs, biometric passports, birth certificates as they no longer had access to these data. Data Sovereignty is one of the concepts governments are using to protect citizens’ data. But what is Data Sovereignty, why is it important, and how does it affect businesses and citizens?

BE-CYBER Experience Sharing Event – 26 October 2022

Panel discussion: Sovereignty & data protection: evolution of the topic in the current geopolitical context (English spoken)

Moderator:  Ulrich Seldeslachts, CEO Leaders in Security


  • Jamal Shahin, Research Professor Institute for European Studies VUB
  • David Dab, National Technology Office for Identity Data in the Netherlands
  • Vincent Dock, Senior Strategy Manager Proximus
  • Laurent Bounameau, DPO & CISO Belgian Geeral Inspectorate Federal Police and the Local Police

Some policy makers have tended to equate Data Sovereignty with Data Residency in the jurisdiction. The situation in Ukraine makes more and more people realize that the debate is more complex than just “my data needs to stay home”. In certain scenarios sovereignty is achieved by having your data secured outside the country in a data embassy or some safe technical enclave. Often too, the notion of sovereignty is not clarified in the form of policy objectives, a threat model, and controls & mechanisms to achieve objectives in the context of a threat model. Therefore, the same word can be used for different things (autarky, resiliency, etc.). There are also plenty of tradeoffs to be made. In this debate we address both the technical and geopolitical dimensions of the issue. 

#digitalsovereignty #datasovereignty #dataprotection