Mission statement

Privacytopia is a project developed by a Belgian NGO (Privacy Salon vzw) affiliated to the Free University of Brussels (VUB).

We have 16 years of experience in event organisation on the topic of privacy and data protection. We run the international Computer, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels (CPDP) and have, since 2013, been organising exhibitions in collaboration with international artists and arts organisations. The fusion of academic and artistic work within the realm of privacy and data protection is a unique and privileged situation. It brings world class researchers from the law, tech and sociological world directly in contact with the practice of artists and curators.

Working on a sustainable formula to bring a positive and critical message to a wide audience lead us to the nomadic art festival concept, working in a new EU city each year. In collaboration with the partners and the board, we investigate where our goals are currently most valuable and where innovative ways of curating and research lead to the best results, considering how political, social, economic, (etc.) landscapes are subject to change.

Advisory Board

Prof. Mette Birkedal Bruun

Center for Privacy Studies/Kopenhagen Uni

Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke

History and Theory of Architecture at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich

Liv Vaisberg

Liv Vaisberg Office for Art & Design

Jan Kempenaers


Marleen Wynants

Founder and advisor Crosstalks

Harry Halpin

CEO at Nym Technologies SA

Zeynep Kubat

Art historian, curator and writer

Els Wuyts

Curator for Beaufort2024

Eduard Fosch Villaronga

Associate Professor on Law, Robots, and AI. eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies Leiden University, the Netherlands

Permanent staff

Thierry Vandenbussche

Executive Director, Art and Events Director. As a founding director of Privacytopia, Thierry Vandenbussche has guided the project through the start-up phase, in the midst of pandemic and beyond. He put all his experience in function of conceptualization, building the international network of partner cities and drawing the curatorial concepts.

Bianca Marcu

Co-director of Privacy Salon, Director of CPDP. Bianca Marcu holds a Master’s degree in International Law from Maastricht University, where she specialised in Human Rights Law. As a director of CPDP she brings the academic and tech network to the arts festival. Bianca coordinates legal & governance, hospitality and human resources.

Tabea Wagner

Head of Communication, Marketing and Publications. While finishing a Master of the Erasmus Mundus program “Digital Communication Leadership” at the University Salzburg and VUB, Tabea joined the Privacy Salon team, working on communications and marketing, including digital strategy and copywriting as well as developing the brand identity.

Jonas Breuer

Research and Partnership Manager. Jonas joined Privacysalon to support the growth and execution of new and existing projects. Before, he has been immersed in critical research on data at the Research Group Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology (SMIT) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research always centred around the question what role ‘normal’ citizens can play in shaping our rapidly datafying cities and societies. His Phd focussed on data protection impact assessments, and whether these legalistic instruments could make a real difference for citizens in their everyday lives. 

Karin Neukermans

Head of finances. Having built a solid and extensive experience in the field of accounting, in 2016 Karin joined Privacy Salon. She is currently dealing with administrative and financial matters on part-time basis. The rest of the time, Karin is pursuing her dream – the Finca San Vicente Bed & Breakfast in Colombia. Internship collaborations with VUB, UA, IMSISS. Please reach out for inquiries.

Board Privacy Salon

Prof. Paul De Hert

Paul De Hert is a full-time professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and associated professor at Tilburg University. He is a human rights and law and technology scholar working in the area of constitutionalism, criminal law, data protection and surveillance law. At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Paul De Hert holds the chair of ‘European Criminal Law’. He is Director of the Research Group on Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC), Director of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law (Metajuridics), Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub and Co-Director of the Research Group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS). He is an associated-professor at Tilburg University where he teaches “Privacy and Data Protection” at the Tilburg Institute of Law, Technology, and Society (TILT). He has written several reports on behalf of the European Parliament and the Commission and often delivers talks at various gatherings, such as the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, and the Council of Europe Committee on Data Protection, among others.

Prof. Rosamunde Van Brakel

Rosamunde Van Brakel is a critical interdisciplinary social scientist who works as research professor at the LSTS research group coordinating the VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies and as a postdoc at imec-SMIT on the SPECTRE project on smart cities and data protection impact assessments. Rosamunde has degrees in educational sciences and criminology and has done research on social and ethical consequences of new technologies since 2006. In addition to her research, she is co-director of the annual international Conference Computers, Privacy and Data Protection, co-founder and executive director of Privacy Salon and co-director of the Surveillance Studies Network.

Ulrich Seldeslachs

Ulrich is executive director of LSEC, a not for profit industry association focused on Information Security and Privacy in Europe, based in Belgium and with operations in the Netherlands, UK and Germany. LSEC vzw brings together experts in Cyber Security within LSEC and runs the 3IF.be digital transformation for manufacturing companies platform. Prior to LSEC, Ulrich was responsible for the corporate development of a US-European Broadband wireless operator (Sprint-Clearwire), a broadband internet operator (Orange), a security engineering company, and many other innovative projects. Ulrich holds a BA in Communication Sciences, postgraduates in Computer Sciences and Economics and an MBA from LBS. Within LSEC, Ulrich supports a team of 13 experienced professionals supporting the development of it security in Europe, and paving the way for a more secure industrial internet.