The data economy has brought us many benefits. However, we are also keenly aware of the individual and societal harms arising from the increasingly common unlawful use of personal data. Vigorously protecting personal data rights is essential for the fair treatment of individuals, a flourishing and competitive data economy, and a truly democratic society.
Our mission is to protect the interests of data subjects that have been harmed by infringements of data protection law and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for the damage they have suffered.
SDBN is currently investigating a range of legal infringements by businesses operating in the data economy. We will address these issues with the responsible parties and invite these parties to explore a fair and reasonable solution to remedy these privacy violations and to compensate those who have been harmed by such infringements.
We prefer out-of-court solutions to costly and time-consuming litigation. However, if the responsible parties are unwilling to enter into voluntary settlement discussions, SDBN will initiate collective action litigation on behalf of its constituents to enforce their right to compensation, to obtain injunctive relief to repair existing infringements, and to prevent further infringements.
SDBN’s activities support both existing laws and regulatory initiatives to protect personal data. We believe our work provides a path for data subjects to obtain access to justice and fair redress for harms caused by businesses which infringe their data protection rights. In doing so, SDBN helps to ensure that businesses in the data economy operate in a compliant manner in the future.
SDBN is governed by a management board and a supervisory board, consisting of independent members with expertise and affinity in all relevant areas for the cases it is investigating.
The management board is responsible, among other things, for the adoption and implementation of the financial policy and for the strategy of the Foundation. The management board reports to the supervisory board at least once a year.
The supervisory board supervises the policy and strategy of the management board and the foundation’s general course of affairs, and provides advice to the board. The members of the supervisory board focus on the interests of the constituents of the foundation.
Chair of the board
Anouk Ruhaak was until recently a Senior Fellow with the Mozilla Foundation. In her work she implements alternative data governance models that allow data subjects to collectively make decisions about their data and aim to more widely share benefits derived from that data. Before joining Mozilla Foundation, Anouk Ruhaak gained extensive experience as a data governance consultant working with think tanks like the Open Data Institute and, in addition, worked as a data journalist with Platform Investico and a software developer with various clients in the US and Europe. She has a formal background in economics and political science.
Arie van der Steen is a qualified Dutch accountant. He is an expert in financial aspects of complex transactions. Arie van der Steen has gained extensive experience as a management and supervisory board member for Dutch non-profit foundations engaged in collective redress cases in various areas. He has also been involved as a supervisory board member in the areas of healthcare, education, and the financial sector over the last 15 years.
Niels Lemmers is head of public affairs at Flow Traders. Before joining Flow Traders, Niels Lemmers has gained extensive experience in finance, legal and management. He inter alia worked as a lawyer and head of public affairs at the Dutch Shareholders Association (VEB), where he has been involved in a wide range of class actions and settlements. In addition, Niels Lemmers also worked as managing director of the European Investors Association and as a lawyer at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). He studied corporate and securities law as well as financial economics at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Chair Supervisory Board
Ton Louwers is the current chief financial officer of Allego, the largest public pan-European EV charging network. Ton Louwers has an extensive financial background, and is seasoned in turnaround management, financial recovery, M&A, corporate finance and strategy implementation. Ton Louwers graduated from the University of Amsterdam and holds a Masters in Business Economics, followed by a post-graduate degree as a chartered accountant.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Michael is a senior King's Counsel at the English Bar. He is a physics graduate and specialises in intellectual property and technology related law. He has acted as counsel to the UK Treasury and has experience both as a barrister and mediator in a range of technical and commercial fields. Michael has appeared in courts at all levels in the UK, the European Patent Office, and the European Court of Justice. His technical experience extends across many industries including telecommunications and information technology and his practice extends to confidential information, privacy, and data protection.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Catherine Mulligan is an expert in digital technologies. She has acted as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Data for Common Purpose Initiative (DCPI) and is currently a member of the WEF's Crypto Impact and Sustainability Accelerator (CISA). She has acted as an advisor to several governments and NGOs. Among several other engagements, she is a visiting lecturer at Imperial College London where she co-founded the Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering. Catherine performs research on the technical, economic and policy applications of digital technologies and digital transformation. She has extensive experience in translating her research into real world solutions for multinational corporations, governments and start-ups.
As a representative organisation, SDBN carries out its activities in line with the principles of the Claim Code 2019, which is a code of conduct and governance aimed at the proper and independent functioning of claims foundations.
In our Claim Code Compliance document you will find more information about the structure of the foundation and how we comply with the Claim Code 2019.