Data Protection Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio is the Finnish Government’s candidate for Executive Director of the European Network and Information Security Agency

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 17.3.2004 0.00
Press release
The Finnish Government proposes that Mr Reijo Aarnio, Data Protection Ombudsman, be appointed to Executive Director of the Network and Information Security Agency, which is to be established in the European Union. Mr Aarnio is considered as a potential candidate, because throughout Europe he is a well-known and respected expert, director and opinion former in matters relating to data protection and information security.

European Union communications ministers agreed on the establishment of the Network and Information Security Agency in November 2003. The Agency aims at enhancing Member States' capability to respond to information security problems. It is agreed that the Agency will be located in Greece.

Mr Aarnio (48) is Master of Law. He has run the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman in Finland since November 1997. The duties of the Ombudsman are to guide and control the processing of personal data in order to protect citizens' privacy and to promote the development and observance of good methods in data processing. He has previous experience from expert and managerial duties in companies Suomen Asiakastieto Oy and Tietoperintä Oy.

Mr Aarnio is a member of the national Information Security Advisory Board and the Electronic Communications Advisory Board as well as of many other public administration bodies. He is also engaged in international work, for example in the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, Joint Supervisory Authority of Schengen and Appeals Committee of the Joint Supervisory Body of Europol.

The European Network and Information Security Agency will become operational at the end of this year, at the earliest. It will employ around 30 people and the budget for its term (2004-2008) is around EUR 33 million.

The office of the Executive Director will be declared open in March, when the proposal for a regulation concerning the establishment of the European Network and Information Security Agency will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Executive Director will be appointed by the Management Board of the Agency. Finland's representative in the Management Board is Ms Kristiina Pietikäinen, Director of Unit for E-commerce and Data Security at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Requests for interviews with Mr Aarnio, tel. +358 9 2598 7730, +358 40 520 7068. Photos of Mr Aarnio from Ms Erna Laiho at the Office of the Data Protection
Ombudsman, tel. +358 9 259 8771.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Harri Pursiainen, Director-General of the Communications Department,
tel. +358 9 160 28389, +358 500 787 742