Adrian Lobsiger elected new Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner

On 18 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Council elected Adrian Lobsiger, currently Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Police (fedpol), as new Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (”Commissioner”).

After 14 years of practice as Commissioner, Hanspeter Thür will retire by the end of November 2015. The Swiss Federal Council elected Adrian Lobsiger as his successor for a term of four years. The election still needs to be approved by the Federal Assembly. Until the new Commissioner assumes his function, Hanspeter Thür’s deputy, Jean-Philippe Walter, will head the Commissioner’s office ad interim.

Unlike Hanspeter Thür, Adrian Lobsiger does not come from the political arena, but is currently the Deputy Director and chief of staff (“Stabschef”) at fedpol. He has a doctorate degree in law and is a Swiss attorney. In his new role as Commissioner, Adrian Lobsiger will act independently, without being subject to the directives of any authority (cf. art. 26 para. 2 of the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act).

It will be interesting to see if the change at the head of the Commissioner’s office will have an impact on the current practice and approach of the office.