Marit Hansen, honorary doctor at the faculty of health, science and technology
“It is becoming more and more important to change the systems in a way so that everybody – and not only careful or aware persons – can conveniently have privacy and data protection.”
Marit Hansen lives in Schleswig-Holstein in the north of Germany. She studied computer science with a minor in medicine at Kiel University and since her diploma in 1995 she worked on privacy and security aspects at the office of the State Data Protection Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein.
“I am a computer scientist with focus on data protection by design and by default, specifically from a legal and technological perspective. I’m working in a field that has always been dominated by lawyers, but in any case needs an interdisciplinary approach for achieving sustainable solutions in our digitized world. For me it is very exciting to be part of a creative team collaborating on topics such as the fair design of upcoming technologies. Fair design of data processing is an important task because otherwise our fundamental rights are at stake”.
Since 2015 Marit Hansen has been the State Data Protection Commissioner of Land Schleswig-Holstein and Chief of Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz (ULD).
“Before being appointed Data Protection Commissioner, I had been Deputy Commissioner for seven years. Within ULD I established the “Privacy Technology Projects” Division and the “Innovation Centre Privacy & Security” with a focus on research. This facilitated joint research activities with universities and research labs in Europe and abroad on diverse privacy and data protection topics”.
Marit Hansen’s belief is that data protection is a necessary achievement for individuals as well as for our democratic society. In her opinion have to protect the rights and freedoms by checks and balances against power monopolies or misuse and manipulation attempts.
“It is becoming more and more important to change the systems in a way so that everybody – and not only careful or aware persons – can conveniently have privacy and data protection. Think of road safety, of the building static of our houses or bridges, or of pharmaceutical drug safety: We all can rely on good standards and don’t have to conduct an own analysis how trustworthy a product or service is. Data protection has to become the default”.
In leisure time she hops on the ferry from Kiel to Göteborg about every second year with her family. As a kid she played several instruments and was part of some ensembles and orchestras. She finds it hard to find the time to practice but a few years ago she started learning to play the flute from scratch.