Mr Jacob Kohnstamm
Former Chairman of Dutch Data Protection Authority
Jacob Kohnstamm has served as chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority from August 2004 until August 2016. Between 2008 and 2010 he also served as the elected vice chairman of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) and was elected chairman of that body from 2010 and 2014. This independent advisory body is composed of representatives of the various data protection supervisors in the European Union. Between 2011 and 2014 Jacob Kohnstamm also served as chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. As a preparation for hosting that Conference in Amsterdam in 2015, he initiated the Privacy Bridge project in 2014.
Between 1999 and 2004, previous to his appointment as chairman of the Dutch DPA, Jacob Kohnstamm was a member of the Senate of the States General for D66 [Liberal Democrats]. He also was chairman of a large number of organisations and committees, including the Regieraad ICT Politie [Police IT Control Board].
He was state secretary for Home Affairs between 1994 and 1998, in particular responsible for Urban Policy.
Between 1986 and 1994 Kohnstamm served as a member of the House of Representatives of the States General. During the first parliamentary term (1986-1989), he was spokesperson on matters related to Home Affairs, police and the Middle East. During this term, he also was chairman of the standing Parliamentary Committee for the National Ombudsman. In the subsequent parliamentary term (1989-1994), he was spokesperson for matters related to public health, police and the Middle East, as well as chairman of the standing Parliamentary Committee for the Police.
After being elected as a member of the House of Representatives for the first time in 1981, he became spokesperson for his political group on matters related to defence, police and justice. Between 1982 and 1986 he served as the party chairman of D66.
After graduating in law from the University of Amsterdam, Jacob Kohnstamm worked as a lawyer between 1977 and 1981 as well as between 1982 and 1986.