I note from the statement published on the EDPS website that Giovanni Buttarelli passed away. The news much saddens me.

The post published on the EPDS website defines Giovanni Buttarelli

such a kind and brilliant individual. Throughout his life, Giovanni dedicated himself completely to his family, to the service of the judiciary and the European Union and its values. His passion and intelligence will ensure an enduring and unique legacy for the institution of the EDPS and for all people whose lives were touched by him

It is so!

I met Giovanni Buttarelli personally in 2009.

In 2010 I was in Brussels to attend a meeting, and I had the opportunity to meet Giovanni; he was already an Assistant Supervisor at the EDPS at that time. I remember that he was very kind; he invited me to have a drink in a bar near the seat of the European Parliament and told me about his appointment and the work that involved and fascinated him.

I had the impression of an intelligent, humble and helpful person.

Over the years, there have been other opportunities to meet and each time was the opportunity for a discussion on the issues of personal data protection and privacy, listening to his enlightened point of view. His commitment and contribution to the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, which held in Brussels on October 2018, was enlightening: the testimony was that of the audience and the speakers present.

In May of this year, I had the honour of receiving his preface to my book entitled “GDPR & privacy: consapevolezza e opportunità. Analisi ragionata della protezione dei dati personali tra etica e cybersecurity”. On June 28, then, it was just as an honour his participation in the conference organised in Rome at the Chamber: Giovanni Buttarelli’s intervention was illuminating. Giovanni was a tireless worker and thrilled to deal with complex issues such as the protection of personal data and privacy with an original perspective and not-subservient to the systems.

Giovanni has started a new voyage but left a significant legacy consisting of the fruits of his work. It is desirable that those who deal with the protection of personal data and privacy keep in mind its interventions, its teachings and its “visionary ideas” and draw from it to foster the development of a complex but fascinating subject, above all to guarantee to individuals the respect for human dignity which must never be overridden in any way.

Personally, I keep the memories and teachings of an important Man. My condolences come to the family, relatives and close friends.