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Notes from: 'Data Protection 2019'

Data Protection 2019

Our flagship data conference took place on Friday 1 March to a full house of data enthusiasts.

There were discussions regarding new plans for data protection, some GDPR-infused humour, and a fantastic speaker lineup.

Let’s take a closer look at what was discussed at ‘Data Protection 2019’.


Trust, Technology and Advertising

Simon McDougall, executive director – technology, policy and innovation, ICO

ICO receives complaints around nuisance calls, etc, but in recent years, they’ve faced different challenges.

With the evolution of marketing and the increased use of data, people are becoming increasingly conscious of how valuable their data is. And the newest evolution since GDPR made the front pages is the quest for balance - somewhere between acceptable and intrusive use of data to streamline marketing.

This line will be magnified even further with the advent of 5G — currently talked about in hushed tones — and has given rise to an effort to create a code of ethics.

Simon went on to talk about Adtech and its use of personal data and the ICO’s key concerns regarding transparency, lawful basis, and security.

Read his blog which delves further into the topic here.

The ICO hosts a range of programs designed to get your opinions — after all, you’re the industry practitioners.

Coming up, from the ICO:

  • Regulatory sandbox sessions
  • Amends to PECR
  • New direct mail code of practice (coming up this summer)
  • AI Auditing Framework

See more from the ICO, here.


Fixing RTB’s privacy crisis

Dr Johnny Ryan, chief policy and industry relations officer, Brave

Real Time Bidding hurts worthy publishers, enables a business model for untrustworthy sites, facilitates the profiling of every single online person, steals marketer’s money, and exposes them to risk.

We have a social responsibility to step in.

Johnny suggests this broken system can be fixed, if we demand and reform it.

I won’t drill in to all of the detail, after all, Jonny did it really well, and he’s even shared his slides for the world to see.

Click here to see Jonny’s presentation.


Horse Meat, Death Stars and the GDPR: Data Protection challenges in 2019

Garreth Cameron, data protection officer – EMEA, Dentsu Aegis Network

Garreth addressed the stormy, foreboding atmosphere surrounding the GDPR and fuelled by the media. He touched on privacy death stars, civil society complaints, political scrutiny, and regulatory action.

But this has culminated in people knowing how their data is used for marketing, and engaging with the mechanics behind it. Now, consumers have the tools necessary to find out even more.

Even some Data Protection officers had a muddy understanding of how data is used for marketing. Not just about legal risks; it comes down to ethics – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


DMA Gold – Best GDPR Campaign: The Guardian GDPR - Leave or Remain?

Ross Hawkes, data strategy director, OLIVER

Sam Jacobs, creative director, OLIVER

Sonia Sukhakar, marketing director, The Guardian

Talk about making GDPR interesting. Last year, we added a new category to our Awards Show to celebrate the intelligent handling of GDPR campaigns, and this one came up gold.

First, Sonia Sukhakar, marketing director, The Guardian, spoke about an overall shift from focusing on reach, to really building relationships with readers.

The Guardian has a sustainable business model where readers are really valued, and rewarded with the excellent content produced.

She went on to talk about how natural the campaign felt for The Guardian — it’s built on affinities with their audience, and is an extension of their beliefs and thoughts. The various executions throughout the campaign really elaborate on the connectedness of this readership and the views they share.

Ross Hawkes and Sam Jacobs showed the video and reiterated Sonia’s thoughts. This was one of the first routes they created, and it turned out to be a winner.

Most importantly, they saw the GDPR as an opportunity to do some really great work.

They knew their audience extremely well, and engaged them in a conversation which really hit the subject matter home and spelled it out simply — and to an award-winning standard.

Click here to see the award-winning case study for even more detail.


The day was full of information key data protection ideas, addressing this topic from a human perspective. And that's really the key lesson issue: discovering Data Protection best practice and putting it to use to improve the ways we use data and to take responsibility for the data we collect and use. It's about putting the consumer first and making sure the relationship is mutually beneficial.

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