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Meet our new Privacy Officer Astrid Gravenbeek: ‘Here to help people feel more resilient’

The past years Wouter Kool has been active as Privacy Officer at the Faculty of Archaeology. This was part of his position as Information Manager. Recently, however, he doubled his responsibilities when taking over the Information Manager position at the FGGA as well. He remains only human though, so something got to give. This is why his Privacy Officer portfolio is transferred to Astrid Gravenbeek. We sat down with Wouter and Astrid to get a clearer picture.

Astrid Gravenbeek

Background in media

Our new Privacy Officer Astrid Gravenbeek comes from a background in media. ‘I have worked on the Hilversum Media Park for years, in Broadcast companies that were active in storing data. Privacy and security was a component of my job.’ It was here that she learned about (the ongoing) security threats and its impact on privacy. ‘For some, leaking personal information has much more impact than for others.’

You may already have run into Astrid, for she has already been working at Leiden University for three years. ‘I am Privacy Officer and was till now Deputy Data Protection Officer at the central University level. Since we have built a central Privacy Office , I will be helping out Archaeology.’

Wouter Kool

Shifting tasks

So what is Wouter’s side of the story? ‘For some time I have been working as interim Information Manager at FGGA. This position is now going to be permanent, which means in the next months there will be a shift in my tasks.’ Some of these changing tasks are still being established and we will revisit this subject in the near future. ‘Besides that, the Faculty was allocated extra FTE from the Leiden Research Support programme to professionalise research data management. This is something that I will add to my portfolio.’

Naturally, Astrid and Wouter will need to collaborate on research project dossiers. ‘We will consider funding applications and research proposals together,’ Wouter explains, ‘since Data Management and Privacy are so intertwined.’

Questions and answers

So when do you need to contact Astrid? ‘When you have any question about privacy or privacy issues,’ Astrid states. ‘Whether you are starting a research project, working with a data set, or have questions about data leaks, but also in any case of processes that involve privacy aspects.’ As

She realizes that it is important to better explain some lesser knowns aspects of the GDPR. ‘I will be visiting the departmental meetings to clarify a bit more. A concrete example would be the organisation of an event, online or otherwise. What kind of privacy aspects do you have to take into consideration?’


Raising awareness is an important part of the job of a Privacy Officer. ‘One of the lesser known rules, for example, is that you need a goal for what you collect personal data for. One may think they need certain data for a certain goal, but if they collect too much, it is no longer compliant to the GDPR.’

The Netherlands is a very digitised country, which makes it more vulnerable for data leaks. ‘We want to help people feel more resilient in this digital age,’ Astrid explains. ‘We need to explain the GDPR tangle. Not to hamper organizational or commercial processes, but instead to make sure these may continue. The Privacy Officers are here to help us all to be compliant and to be less vulnerable.’

Astrid Gravenbeek will be available for our Faculty on Mondays. Please contact her at avg@arch.leidenuniv.nl.

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