Last night’s meeting of the Crouch End Chapter of the Institute for Data Protection went on for some time. But, as members staggered out of the pub, they were clutching a document that, for once, everyone could agree on. It contained a list of the top 15 movers and shakers of the UK's data protection establishment.
These individuals will now be scrutinised by an executive committee before a shorter list is announced in the autumn. The committee will be empowered to make additional recommendations, if Google searches of the current nominees reveal too much of a chequered past.
The ultimate mover and shaker, if a single name eventually emerges from this process, will have the honour of adding this prestigious accolade to their Linkedin profile, and the embarrassment of knowing that everyone else will comparing their achievements to others who, in their view, have achieved more than our illustrious winner.
So, in (mostly) alphabetical order, the top 15 movers and shakers are:
(1) Bojana Bellamy, shortly to become President of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams, who will always grace a reputable conference platform.
(2) Robert Bond, Speechly Bircham, for his pioneering work about how children use the internet.
(3) John Bowman, our man from the Ministry of Justice, determined to persuade his EU chums of the importance of focussing on outcomes, rather than processes.
(4) Hazel Grant, Bristows, whose steady hand guides government bodies, global IT service providers and national charities.
(5) Stephen McCartney, always trying so hard to keep Google in the ICO’s good books.
(6) Nick Pickles, Director of BigBrotherWatch, who can always be relied upon to release a pithy press statement that queries some aspect of the surveillance state.
(7) Tim Pit Payne QC, frequently seen at the Information Rights Tribunal either supporting or opposing whatever the ICO has recently decided. Based at 11 Kings Bench Walk.
(8) Anya Proops, barrister, often appearing at the Information Rights Tribunal arguing against Tim Pit Payne, so either opposing or supporting whatever the ICO has recently decided. Spookily, also based at 11 Kings Bench Walk.
(9) Stewart Room, FFW, mostly in the thick of it, advising clients whose data handling standards have come to the attention of the folk in Wilmsow.
(10) Melanie Shillito, Promontory, one of the powerhouses behind the Data Protection Forum.
(11) Eduardo Ustaran , FFW, often quoted in IAPP publications.
(12) Pat Walshe, GSMA privacy globetrotter, preaching good data protection standards to anyone who will listen.
(13) Mark Watts, Bristows, aching to defend his clients against any unfair whims of the regulator.
And, of course:
(14) Christopher Graham and (15) David Smith, also known as the 'Ant & Dec of the ICO.' These cheeky chappies will continue to appear at conference venues near you, amusing and delighting audiences with their insights about what’s really going on in the world of data protection.
Regular readers are welcome to nominate other outstanding individuals by writing to me at the usual address. I'll pass them to the executive committee for further scrutiny.