The Privacy Commission in a nutshell

Since 1 January 2004 the Privacy Commission has been an independent supervisory authority under the auspices of the House of Representatives.

The Privacy Commission consists of sixteen members:

  • a president,
  • a vice president,
  • six permanent members,
  • eight substitute members.

The president and vice president are the only fulltime members. The mandate of president is reserved to a magistrate.

If the president's mother tongue is Dutch, then the vice president must be a French native speaker and vice versa. Among the Privacy Commission's members there must be at least the following four categories: a legal expert, an IT expert and two individuals with experience in personal data management in the public and private sector respectively.

All sixteen commissioners are appointed for a renewable six-year mandate. They are all experts in privacy protection and personal data management.

The Privacy Commission's mission is to ensure that privacy is respected when personal data are processed. It is a federal body, although there has been a Flemish Supervisory Commission for Electronic Administrative Data Flows since December 2009. The Flemish Commission has similar powers, but only at Flemish level.

Sector committees have been established within the Privacy Commission in order to supervise a specific sector.

The Privacy Commission is supported by a secretariat consisting of approximately fifty employees.