Ready for the next “Dieselgate” in data protection: the new reality of collective redress in the EU


  • Marco Scialdone


  • Ursula Pachl
  • Bart Volders
  • Laura Somaini
  • Paul Breitbarth

Organisation: Euroconsumers

Room: Online 1

Timing: 10:30 - 11:45 on 27 January 2021

In 2020 the EU adopted a new law on collective redress which will allow citizens in all EU countries to go to court as a group if they have suffered the same damage, something consumer groups have been advocating for since more than 30 years. Data protection is one of the areas specifically covered in the new law. Consumer organisations have been pioneers in this area in those countries where collective redress was already allowed under national law, as demonstrated by the class actions launched in 2018 in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium against Facebook. Now the possibility to claim collective redress for data protection damages becomes a reality across the EU. What does this mean for consumers? How will this new collective redress instrument be designed? And how will the compensation for a breach of privacy rights be defined?

• What are the main elements of the new EU directive on injunctions and collective redress?
• What are the possibilities and benefits it brings to consumers when it comes to the protection of their personal data and their privacy?
• What are the main challenges for collective redress in the area of data protection?
• What mechanisms can be envisaged to define the compensation for data protection damages?


Marco Scialdone

Università Europea di Roma and InnoLawLab (IT)

Lawyer and Professor of law and management of digital content and services at the European University of Rome, where he founded the Laboratory of Innovation Law - InnoLawLab and is also deputy coordinator of the Master in "Artificial Intelligence: law and ethics of emerging technologies". He was part of the high-level expert group on artificial intelligence appointed by the italian government for the drafting of the national strategy. Since 2019 he sits on the permanent advisory committee for copyright.


Ursula Pachl


Ms. Pachl is the Deputy Director General of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, representing 43 independent national consumer associations from 32 European countries. Before this, she has held different positions at BEUC, starting as Legal Advisor, than working as Senior Policy and Institutional Affairs Advisor. In her current role Ms. Pachl leads BEUC’s work on digital policies, consumer rights, redress and enforcement. She is also responsible for horizontal and strategic policy such as EU governance and Better Regulation issues and represents BEUC in High Level groups, namely the European Commission’s High Level Group for Artificial Intelligence, the stakeholder group of the EU’s Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and the European Commission’s REFIT platform.

Bart Volders

Arcas Law (BE)

Bart Volders is a partner at Arcas Law, a Belgian dispute resolution only law firm. He is a member of the Brussels and Antwerp Bars. Bart is a Licentiate in Law (2002) and holds a Ph.D. in Law (2007). He was a part-time lecturer of the core subject of private international law and other elective courses at the University of Antwerp from 2008 to 2010. He was also a guest lecturer of private international law and international arbitration law at the University of Toulouse (France) and the University of Bujumbura (Burundi). Bart has written several books and many contributions that were published in Belgian and foreign legal journals and collective works. He is sought-after speaker on all subject matters that relate to international and complex dispute resolution.

Laura Somaini

Winner My Data Is Mine Award

Laura Somaini is an Associate at Pierstone Law Firm in Brussels, specializing in IT and data protection law, and conducts research in affiliation with Université Catholique de Louvain. She holds a Law Degree from Bocconi University and an LL.M in EU Law from the College of Europe. She was previously Research & Teaching Assistant at Bocconi University, focusing on constitutional law and digital privacy. She authored contributions on EU data protection law, non-personal data, online disinformation and Internet regulation.

Paul Breitbarth

TrustArc (NL)

Paul Breitbarth is a privacy lawyer from the Netherlands. In 2016, he joined the Canadian company Nymity, which became part of TrustArc in November 2019. He serves as Director, EU Policy and Strategy and is based in The Hague (NL). Paul contributes to TrustArc’s thought leadership via papers, webinars and public speaking opportunities on a variety of topics, including accountability, the demonstration of compliance and dealing with multiple data protection laws with one single privacy program. Paul also maintains regulator contacts across the EU. He is Sr. Visiting Fellow at Maastricht University's European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity.