Tuesday 17 January 2012

50 things to do before a data protection professional dies (part 2)

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s list is the second half of life-affirming events which may help assess your contribution to the data protection world.

Given that we tend to surround our daily lives with HR-type objectives, and it’s that time of the year again when we need to think of a few to populate this year’s forms, please feel free to perm some from this list.

After all, the purpose of the exercise isn’t just to feel some form of personal satisfaction at the conclusion of a data protection career – it’s also to remind our employers that most of the stuff we do is also ultimately for the benefit of them, too.

So, how many of these have you done?

26. Offer to buy Peter Fleisher a drink after work
27. Pay for professional advice as well as receiving free hospitality from our chums at Bird & Bird, Bristows, Clifford Chance, Covington & Burlington, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Linklaters, Morrison & Forester, Olswang, Pinsent Masons, Speechy Bircham or White & Case (extra points for freeloading off the lot)
28. Persuade your CEO to sign the ICO’s Personal Information Promise
29. Praise a politician for passing a sensible data protection law (extra points if it’s a British data protection law)
30. Publish an article in a commercial data protection journal
31. Purchase a bound copy of the Data Protection Act (extra points if used as a prop when work colleagues get stroppy)
32. Quote sections from the Durant vs FSA Judgment when Subject Access Requesters ask for more than they are entitled to receive
33. Read every word of an opinion from the Article 29 Working Party
34. Reassure the Minister in charge of data protection that you’re just as anxious to create a workable law as he is
35. Smile when your CV is rejected – it’s their loss, not yours!
36. Serve on the Management Committee of the Data Protection Forum for at least a year
37. Shamelessly plagiarise someone else’s work in a presentation, without giving due credit to the rightful author
38. Sing a data protection ditty to the tune of a popular song
39. Speak at a European Commission seminar on some ever so important (but oh so dull) aspect of data protection
40. Support a social event organised by the guys at BigBrotherWatch, or their next door neighbours at the Centre for Policy Studies
41. Take a bottle of wine to a Privacy International party to show that you share their passion to respect fundamental human rights
41. Tell the intelligence agencies that their latest cunning plan complies with all relevant data protection laws
43. Throw an all-nighter to complete work the data protection on a project that’s subsequently cancelled
44. Understand what the rules on transborder data flows actually mean
45. Volunteer a few hours of your time with a recognised think tank to help them explain some bits of data protection law to a focus group
46. Work with the International Chamber of Commerce to make sense of an obscure EU rule
47. Work with the ICO to get someone successfully prosecuted for a DPA offence
48. Work with the police to get a someone successfully prosecuted for a DPA-type offence (extra points if the case is heard at the Old Bailey and you avoid national media attention)
49. Write a data protection blog that occasionally sets tongues wagging
50 . Propose a toast to absent data protection friends (Dear Shelagh Gaskill, you are still so greatly missed)

No, I have not achieved everything on this – yet. There are a couple I’ve still to tick off. Please feel free to contact me to propose additional challenges – the very best of which may be rewarded with a bottle of Plymouth Gin, as I do seem to have some spare bottles around the place.