Data guard team wins international data protection mutcourt

December 19 saw the closing of the International Data Protection Moot Court, which was hosted by the University of Vienna. A team of three Russian 4th year undergraduate students - Artyom Safyannikov, Renat Sigunov (National Research University Higher School of Economics) and Yana Ufaeva (Moscow State University) won the main category of the competition, becoming the best team.

This year the student competition was held for the first time on an international scale and united more than 15 teams from the USA, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria and other European countries.

- At first we didn't even think that we would be able to qualify for the mutcourt. We were afraid in our hearts that we too would be affected by the wave that prevented Russian teams from competing at international Mutkort. But we made it through, we performed, and won. Unbelievable! - Yana shares her emotions.

⚖️The competition was held according to the European legislation on personal data protection - GDPR, and this year's theme was the use of algorithms based on artificial intelligence in gaming platforms, the fight against cheating and fraud in games and automated decision-making without human involvement.

- It's nice to win a mutcourt among teams for whom GDPR is native law. It's even cooler to see some of the foremost figures of the privacy industry on the jury like Max Schrems, who twice effectively banned Facebook from handing over data to the US," says Artem.

As part of the mutkort, which lasted more than two months, the teams drafted written memorandums and also made oral presentations to a fictitious supervisory authority for the protection of personal data subjects' rights. Participants were judged by a jury of leading European law firms (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and nonprofit organizations (Acess Now) on privacy and digital rights.

- As expected, we faced a high level of competition at the tournament. I knew a participant from Vienna, as we were together at the MEP model in Athens. Back then, he was my legal advisor in 2021, and I was a Russian student who knew nothing about GDPR. Today we competed on equal terms and even managed to win. I am madly grateful to the coaches for their dedication, which helped us progress so quickly," Renat said.

The team was coached by Ekaterina Lobysheva, an international lawyer who previously coached Russian teams at Price Media Law Moot Court, and Denis Sadovnikov, Senior Consultant at Data Privacy Office Europe, CIPP/E, CIPM, FIP.