Privacy Council

1. Background

The implementation of the EU data protection regulation (GDPR) is a major focus for Beltug, which is committed to providing tools and activities for members to help them in enabling their compliance.

The regulation came into force on 25 May 2018, and it is the official data protection law in all EU Member States.

2. Scope and mission

As privacy continues to be an important topic for companies, Beltug launched the Privacy Council in 2017. Its scope covers various aspects of data protection in the business domain, including, but not limited to, the GDPR.

The Privacy Council provides a platform for experts to exchange experiences and best practices. Beltug uses the Council’s findings and suggestions to inform its members, and to develop new tools, papers, positions and activities, when and if relevant.

This high-level, multidisciplinary Council meets, discusses and makes suggestions and recommendations to Beltug regarding issues, activities and lobbying efforts that can be undertaken in the area of privacy. This includes the GDPR and its implementation in Belgium, as well as other related topics that are within the scope of Beltug’s activities and interests.

Organisation of events is not intended to be within the scope of this initiative, as that is already part of the regular Beltug activities.

Conclusions, best practices and insights may be communicated to the other members via the usual Beltug activities.

The set-up of the Privacy Council is flexible, informal, consensual and determined together with the members of the group. Beltug facilitates the Privacy Council. If needed, Beltug cuts the knot on decisions to be taken, always with a view on the interests of the Beltug community and the constructive functioning of the Privacy Council.

3. Members: who can apply?

Interested Beltug members can apply at

Typically, Privacy Council members are practitioners in matters of privacy: whether privacy is a specific part of their day-to-day responsibilities, or their responsibilities are directly impacted by privacy issues and compliance.

They must be Beltug members, from the user side, and participation in task forces is included in their membership (note: a Corporate Basic membership allows your organisation to participate in 1 task force, with a Corporate Premium membership, your company can have delegates in as many task forces as you want). They are knowledgeable people with a high willingness to share their expertise.

For certain profiles, such as lawyers or in-house consultants, Beltug will review the application on a case-by-case basis.

Privacy Council members may therefore come from all areas of companies and organisations.

This Council is in no way a platform for commercial purposes.

4. Participation

Participation in the Privacy Council by its members is a key component of its success. The task force convenes regularly, with the frequency of meetings determined collaboratively by its members. Active involvement is expected from all members, who are encouraged to share their experiences, propose relevant topics, make presentations, and attend gatherings consistently.

Meetings are conducted through both online and in-person formats, providing flexibility for participants. Building trust among members is paramount to facilitate open information sharing, and regular attendance plays a vital role in establishing and strengthening these personal connections.

From time to time, the task force may extend invitations to non-member experts or individuals with specialised experience in specific topics, in order to contribute to the discussions and enrich the collective expertise of the group. This collaborative approach ensures that diverse perspectives are brought to the table for comprehensive insights and solutions.

5. Confidentiality

Meetings follow the Chatham House Rule: participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. However, the conclusions of the Council’s conversations can be used to share knowledge and best practices with the Beltug community.

6. Potential conflicts of interest

In the Privacy Council, maintaining ethical conduct and transparency is paramount. If a potential conflict of interest arises during discussions, the concerned member will proactively inform the task force. Subsequently, the member will not be involved in determining Beltug’s position on that particular issue.

This proactive disclosure ensures open communication and helps identify any situations where personal or professional interests may influence decision-making. By excluding the involved member from the decision-making process for the specific issue, the task force preserves objectivity and impartiality in its recommendations.

Through this approach, the Privacy Council reinforces its commitment to the highest ethical standards and fosters an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. It ensures that Beltug’s positions are based on collective expertise and are in the best interests of the broader community. Transparency in addressing potential conflicts of interest enhances the credibility of the task force’s contributions and strengthens its impact on privacy-related initiatives.