Sunday 3 February 2013

ICO’s 2013 conference programme revealed

Those who applied to attend the ICO’s conference, to be held at the Manchester Central Convention Centre next month, ought to have received their official confirmations by now. If you are among the lucky ones to have been accepted, then I look forward to seeing you there. 

The agenda is packed with an impressive range of seminars to attend – as well as keynote speeches by the usual suspects, and perhaps a surprise or two. 

 What will be the overarching theme of the day? What crumbs of comfort will stressed data protection officers be getting? Will it all be bad news?

Using the phrase so cleverly twisted by Graham Smith last year, when opening the event as the first of “The Smiths” to speak, it wasn’t his aim for everyone to leave thinking “Heaven knows, I’m miserable now”.

That joke isn’t funny any more. 

Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before.  I’ve set out, in my usual way, what I think the theme of the conference will be:

The speakers are confirmed
It’s been trending on Twitter
If you’ve got your invitation
Then you must be a big hitter

From the many who applied
To the few who were chosen
From the warmth of an office
To the conference centre frozen

But we are there, we are ready
We are waiting to cause mayhem
To a storm of applause
The chairman calls Chris Graham

He tells it as it is
To an audience quite hushed
Starting with an annual round up
He does not care to be rushed

Some thoughts from the heart
Into his soul he will reach
For his true opinions
On the latest data breach

Then a few words of comfort
For those seeking information
About who is saying what
On the draft regulation

Then it comes – the big announcement
Which gets us all in a tizzy
For our special entertainment
Will be some songs by Thin Lizzy

Who cares about The Smiths
Despite their renown
As we all sing the chorus
‘The boys are back in town’

Why a Irish group that imploded
Some 21 years ago?
What’s the link to the conference?
That’s what we wanted to know

That band started in the 70’s
And it surely is a fact
Their greatest hits were well before
The Data Protection Act

Perhaps the themes of the event
Are relax and don’t get stressed
If you have no bad intent
Try your hardest, do your best


Do it your way if you must
But should there be a time
When you really come a cropper
You might face a stonking fine

(Please note, I am joking when I suggested that Thin Lizzy would be performing at the event. But they are still touring, you know)

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