There are less than 2
weeks to go before I attend my first data protection conference of the year. A
bunch of data protection worthies, wingers and associated hangers-on will be in
Brussels for the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection event on 22 – 24 January.
Will this one be an eye-opener, or will it be awful? Will anyone learn anything new?
The gossip in the shadows
of the conference ought to be about the new crop of data protection officials
that are being appointed to replace those whose time has come to do something
else with their lives. Will the newbies have as firmly-held opinions as their predecessors?
And are they capable of reaching agreement on a common set of really detailed, data
protection laws? I have my doubts. My money’s on an updated Data Protection
Directive in 2015/16, not an unwieldy Data Protection Regulation.
So, how memorable will
this upcoming conference be? I’m expecting it to be an opportunity for a lot of
speakers to describe themselves as a passionate supporter of Edward Snowdon, a passionate
opponent of all things NSA, and for many other speakers to drone on way past
their allocated speaking slot, without much caring about the torture that is
being inflicted on the audience. How many of these speakers will be offering an
assessment as to how realistic it is to implement any of their proposals? Not a
lot, I expect.
But there is always an
opportunity at these events to collect some freebies, chat to some chums and to
gently enquire whether we share the same concerns. And then discuss why it is that these concerns are
not the concerns that are being formally debated at this conference.
And it also ought to give
me more material for future blogs.
I'm Martin Hoskins, and I write this blog to offer somewhat of an irreverent approach to data protection issues. I'm not one of the "high priests" of data protection. I prefer the principles of transparency, fairness, practicality and risk-assessment over tedious technical dogma. In my view, when the law is unfair or impractical, it should be queried.
While I may, occasionally, gently criticise various organisations with which I am or have been associated, I write here in an entirely personal capacity. My comments should never be taken to represent anyone else's views about any of the pressing issues of the day.
There is a much more serious side to my privacy consulting work, but for that you'll need to contact me at Grant Thornton UK LLP, where I'm an Associate Director, leading the UK privacy practice.
I tweet as @DataProtector.
You can contact me at:
email@example.com, or (with respect to my less serious posts) firstname.lastname@example.org.