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Group to develop a certification and position guidelines ahead of the EU GDPR compliance deadline

Preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a framework legislated by all EU member states with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018, international nonprofit association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) recruited a team of experts to develop Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) guidelines and supporting resources for the industry. In addition, the group is designing a certification program specific for HDPOs to demonstrate their competence with the specialized position. A key requirement of the GDPR is that companies who handle large stores of sensitive personal information must assign a DPO, and it is estimated that this could open approximately 28,000 positions across all industries.

The HFTP HDPO Task Force held its first meeting last month from July 14-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of our first meeting held in Amsterdam this summer," said Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at FIRSTLOGIC Consulting and HFTP HDPO Task Force co-chair. "We have identified areas in which specific solutions (registration challenges, integration of DPO, communication with IT providers and others) are being analyzed, and we are confident to bring those solutions to the industry this autumn."

The HFTP HDPO Task Force consists of 23 members representing a three-dimensional cross section of the hospitality industry including: global, regional and local hotel operators; IT and service provider vendors (distribution, marketing, CRM, etc.); academics and counselors specialized in data protection regulations; members of large multinational groups as well as medium and small companies from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, United States, Switzerland, UAE, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain.

The HFTP HDPO Task Force committee consists of the following hospitality industry leaders:

  • Nigel Allport, vice president of EMEA at Digital Alchemy, United Kingdom
  • Ken Bailey, managing director of public sector at Fortalice Solutions, USA
  • Sjoerd Blum, CIO at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, The Netherlands
  • Stephen Carter, OBE, general manager at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, United Kingdom
  • Dennis Collet, CEO at NextRound Ltd, United Kingdom
  • Luis del Olmo Piñero, president and chairman at Idiso, Spain
  • Richard Harrington, director of finance of luxury at Splendid Hospitality, United Kingdom
  • Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, COO at HFTP, USA
  • Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at FIRSTLOGIC Consulting, Spain
  • Daniel Johnson, COO at Venza, USA
  • Timo Kettern, director of IT at Lapithus Hotel Management GmbH, Germany
  • Dennis-Kenji Kipker, research managing director at Universität Bremen, Germany
  • Jose Medio, Attorney, CIPP/us, CIPP/E, managing director at Privalis Group, USA
  • Ian Millar, CHTP, professor of IT at Ecole Hoteliere De Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Benny Nur, technical services director at Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts, United Kingdom
  • Tar O'Neill, CFO for Jamie Oliver Group, United Kingdom
  • Sophie Pommois, project director of global distribution at Global Hotel Alliance, Switzerland
  • Stephanie Timsit, director of finance at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, United Kingdom
  • Rajesh Vohra, director at Sarova Hotels Ltd., United Kingdom
  • Carl Weldon, FIH FHOSPA, COO Europe at HFTP, United Kingdom
  • Frank Wolfe, CEO at HFTP, USA
  • James Wright, vice president of IT field services EMEA at Hilton Worldwide, UAE
  • Oguz Can Yildirim, CHT, associate director of information risk management EAME at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Belgium
     

"By its nature, the hospitality industry manages a vast amount of personal data. The GDPR will set a new standard for data processing/management that will impact both the finance and technology sectors, and any company that offers goods or services to EU residents," said Wolfe. "Unlike previous frameworks, GDPR includes companies outside the EU who either have customers that are EU citizens or who monitor the online identifiers of EU data subjects. HFTP has deemed it critical to develop resources to alleviate the hospitality technology operational changes ahead."

HFTP will host a HDPO education session at its upcoming Annual Convention on October 25-27, 2017. Wrapping up 2017, HFTP will produce its inaugural HITEC Dubai counterpart event, in partnership with Naseba, from November 14-15 – serving as the third, and final, HITEC of the year. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.

For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News

Contact: Jessica Blankenship

jessica.blankenship@hftp.org

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