Monday, 25 June 2012

Accounting for good data protection

With apologies for the awful pun, today’s blog celebrates our chums in the accounting profession, who have recently launched a report on building trust in the digital age. The report was published in November 2011, but the formal launch occurred on 19 June 2012. Sometimes, accountants take their time.

The broad thrust of the report, on rethinking privacy, property and security, is pretty clear: “Today’s good practices are not enough.” What is required is “an accepted framework of social expectations and laws.” And, because digital technology is disrupting and challenging, we “need to encourage widespread engagement, understanding and debate of the issues to build a social and legal framework which is broadly accepted and can underpin individual business actions.”

Top tip – if you don’t fancy paying £45 for your own ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) bound copy, you can download it for free from here.

By the time you’ve read this 98 page report, you will, according to the blurb, have benefited by:

• Helping management make better decisions about digital information and improve the business performance in relation to information risks; and
• Informing the widespread public debate about digital information and thereby support the development of a variety of regulatory, industry and social solutions.

OK, I think I get it. But, everyone cries, how are we going to do it? Or, as I reported about the question my nephew asked me last week, what does good data protection look like?

Well, I’ve recently given my own reply three times so far. Once to my family and the other times, to audiences of different types of professionals. Each audience laughed in different places as I made my pitch. Do professional stand-up comics get such a varied reaction to their material, too? I really ought to follow someone around the comedy circuit for a while, just to find out.

Anyway, the good news is that everyone told me that they liked what I had to say. I’m delivering it once more, next week, to yet another audience of another type of professional, and then I’ll stop taking and I'll be blogging about it.

Apparently, as some professional comics keep telling me, there’s only so long you can trot out the same old stuff on the comedy circuit before you have to refresh your material.

Obviously, they’ve never heard of Ken Dodd.