The Dutch government has re-appointed Aleid Wolfsen as head of the country’s Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens – AP) for five years beginning 1 August.

“Due to the digitisation of our economy and our daily lives, good protection of personal data is becoming increasingly important,” he said.

“Good steps have been taken in this regard, but of course there is still a lot of work to be done. As chairman of the AP, I will continue to devote myself to this with great energy in the next five years.”

The DPA last year received 1,173 reports of data leaks in which hacking, malware or phishing were used, describing it as an explosive increase in attacks aimed at looting personal data. The number was up 30% on 2019 and follows a 25% increase the previous year.

When the statistics were released, Wolfsen said: “Many people are personally affected when criminals manage to steal their personal data. Criminals use the stolen data for identity fraud and to carry out spam and phishing attacks. The damage of such scams can be such that people really get into trouble and lose all their savings.”

He became AP chairman in 2016 after being a member of its advisory board. Under Dutch law a chairman can only be re-appointed once to another five-year term.

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