Katarzyna Szymielewicz

privacy by design believer

Expert in human rights and technology, lawyer and activist.

Co-founder and president of Panoptykon Foundation – Polish NGO defending human rights in surveillance society. Since 2012 vice-president of European Digital Rights. From 2005 to 2009 associate at international law firm Clifford Chance, specialized in data protection and other regulatory matters. Graduate of the University of Warsaw (Law) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Development Studies). Stipendist and member of Ashoka – international network of social entrepreneurs.

Her work exposes the invisible: data exploitation behind friendly commercial interfaces, the fallacy of free choice and political trade-offs coming with security narrative.


Internet services promise ever faster and more intuitive online experience, often without mentioning real price and risks that come with them. Data leaks are just a small part of the problem. Data generated by algorithms or collected by applications beyond users' control have direct influence on their lives – credit score, job opportunities or exposure to biased news and advertising. GDPR [new data protection regulation] gave users stronger safeguards and new tools to protect their data. Privacy by design is no longer an aspiration - it became a requirement. But it won't become reality without people who build and design technology! Every day you make important choices that have real consequences for users' privacy. Let me convince you to use with power with a sense of responsibility.

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