Look At What I’m Saying, Not What I’m Doing [KitBits 17.5]

Update, 24/3/2017: A privacy policy has appeared on the Data Summit Dublin website.  It mentions the UK Companies Act 2006 and a possible fee of ten of the Queen’s best British pounds for a subject access request. It also seems that personal information collected by Happening Conferences will not be shared with the Department of the Taoiseach, on whose behalf the Minister launched the event on Tuesday. This is certainly an interesting decision by the Department.

Dara Murphy, the  Minister for European Affairs, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection announced a big event yesterday. A big ol’ summertime summit down on the quays. It has its own website and Twitter account.

The full press release is here: ‘Data Summit: Minister Dara Murphy and Government Data Forum announce details of major international event in Dublin’

A few thoughts.

The website for the event encourages people to register and avail of the early bird offers on tickets. The registration process involves, obviously, collecting personal information. The website doesn’t have a privacy policy which explains how this data will be used. I’ll defer to Daragh O’Brien of Castlebridge Associates here about the implications of this –

As a minor aside, a link for further information about the Government Data Forum in the Notes to Editors in the Minister’s press release points to a non-existent page on the merrionstreet.ie website.

The level of care and attention to detail put into this – and indeed many government data projects – is of great importance, because public trust, once lost, is increasingly difficult to regain. Would you trust these people to keep your data safe when they can’t even rustle up a boilerplate privacy policy, let alone display the imagination to use the event as an opportunity to showcase their compliance with the incoming GDPR?

Secondly, the language used in the press release and on the home page of the website seems promising if, like me, you’re hoping that the government might make an effort to inform citizens, each and every one of whom are impacted by data protection laws and regulations, of what these developments mean for them as individuals. What their rights are currently and how these will change next May. That kind of thing.

The theme of the event is “What the Data Society means for you”.  The reader is promised discussions on “how you can manage your own privacy in an online world.”

When I navigate to the tickets page, however, the message does not remain as inclusive. Ticket prices range from €125 to €250, rising to €350 if I don’t avail of the early bird prices.

Sponsors of the event include three of the five largest technology companies in the world, all of whom profit extravagantly from Irish citizens’ personal data. It surely would not be too difficult for the Department of the Taoiseach to make the tickets for individuals more affordable, subsidised if necessary by the organisations who already gain the most in the asymmetrical power relationship between data subjects (you) and data controllers (them).

[Image Credit: Caspar Rubin on Unsplash]

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Pingback: March Roundup
  2. FYI – a complaint has been filed to the DPC by a UK-based data protection expert. This may wind up getting complicated.

  3. Loughlin O'Nolan says:

    Thanks Daragh, will keep an eye on it.

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