Europe’s top data protection regulator, Giovanni Buttarelli, aged 62, has died.

Buttarelli was appointed European Data Protection Supervisor on December 2014.

His death yesterday, was announced by his office today.

“It is with the deepest regret that we announce the loss of Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor. Giovanni passed away surrounded by his family in Italy, last night, 20 August 2019.

We are all profoundly saddened by this tragic loss of such a kind and brilliant individual. Throughout his life Giovanni dedicated himself completely to his family, to the service of the judiciary and the European Union and its values. His passion and intelligence will ensure an enduring and unique legacy for the institution of the EDPS and for all people whose lives were touched by him.

Ciao Giovanni”

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker issued a statement praising Buttarelli’s attachment to the European values.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Giovanni Buttarelli’s death.

With his brilliant legal mind, Mr Buttarelli dedicated his professional life to upholding the values on which the European Union was founded. His life-long work, including his contribution to the development of the General Data Protection Regulation, has cemented Europe’s place in the world as a global leader on data protection. Most recently, as the European Data Protection Supervisor, his tireless efforts have helped ensure the protection of our citizens’ data in the Union. My thoughts are with Mr Buttarelli’s family and friends during this difficult time,” President Juncker stated.

The EDPS is a relatively new but increasingly influential independent supervisory authority with responsibility for monitoring the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies, advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy and cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection.