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Microsoft and European Schoolnet announce winner of “surf the Net – think privacy” video competition


Jesse Verstraete, Senior EU Communications Manager, Microsoft
E: jesse.verstraete@microsoft.com 
Ph: +32 2 550 06 37
Rickard Andersson, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
E: randersson@waggeneredstrom.com
Ph: +44 20 7632 3880


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Shortlisted students from Bulgaria, Portugal and Romania flown into Brussels to collect prize at awards ceremony at Data Privacy Day event

On 28 January 2009, Microsoft Corp. and the European Schoolnet (EUN), will announce the winners of a Europe-wide video competition for students (15-19 years) on the theme “surf the Net – think privacy” at the third annual Data Protection Day at the European Parliament in Brussels.  

  • To raise awareness of the vulnerabilities associated with online activity, such as social networking, the participants have been encouraged to submit short films on the theme of data protection and privacy which will be judged by a jury consisting of:
    - Marc Durando, Executive Director EUN
    - Leif Stenström, Information Officer at “Datainspektionen” (Swedish DPA)
    - Ambassador Torbjörn Fröysnes, Representative of the Secretary General, Director of the Council of Europe Liaison Office with the European Union
    - Jacques Barrot, Vice President European Commission, Responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security
    - Dr. Gus Hosein, Privacy International
    - John Vassallo, Vice President EU Affairs, Microsoft
    - Richard Galvin, European School Brussels
    - Imke Leenders, Dutch Youth Council
    - Madi Sharma, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
    - Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor
  • The three winning entries from Bulgaria, Portugal and Romania, as well as the winners of a separate project carried-out in partnership by two different schools in Greece and Lithuania, will be recognised at an awards ceremony at the Data Protection Day event at the European Parliament in Brussels. The prizes include an Xbox 360 console and “Lips” video game for each member of the winning teams, and cash prizes of 300-500 EUR for school equipment or a charity of choice.


John Vassallo, Vice President EU Affairs, Microsoft, said “Young people have truly embraced the Internet culture and the benefits it brings. In doing so they are apt to share personal details more and more. In an environment in which online fraud, identity theft and other criminal activity online is on the increase, it is important to educate young adults about the potential implications of not protecting personal data online. To do this, industry, NGOs and governments must collaborate to ensure that consumers, from a very young age, understand online threats and make informed privacy decisions.”

Marc Durando, Executive Director of EUN, believes “This is an important initiative in helping people understand the risks of online behaviour. By working with schools, teachers, and students, we are creating a framework which allows everyone to benefit as much as possible from the amazing opportunities of the internet. On a personal note, it was invigorating to see so many exceptional entries in the video competition. The entries highlight many important issues that are being discussed at today’s event. European citizens can greatly benefit from having more information on how best to protect their privacy while enjoying all the benefits of a connected world.”

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