Data Privacy – Playing your part

Tuesday 28th January 2020 was “Data Privacy Day 2020”

Some may refer to this as Data Protection Day, but it is really just a day to draw attention to privacy issues that exist around the use of digital data.

You can read more about this day here and here.

Ironically, on that day, I just happened to be investigating some privacy / security issues and I was reminded that some companies, individuals and even industry sectors that should be blatantly aware of the issues surrounding data privacy are either

  • Ignore of these issues
  • Playing ignorant
  • Thinking ‘it’ll never happen to me’
  • Not caring
  • putting profits above the protection of their clients.
  • All (or some of the above)

And there’s probably many more reasons that people are employing less than desirable practices to look after their data.

If you need more evidence you only have to look at the list of big global companies that have suffered data breaches of some kind in the last few years.

The damage caused by a data breach can be irreparable. Law suits may follow, reputations may be damaged, goodwill may be lost and that’ll soon be reflected in financial figures.

There are plenty of simple things that people can do to help keep their company’s (and their own) data safe. I’ll go into more details on these in later posts but initially I just wanted to start by saying (or rather reiterating) that security is everybody’s job.

Just because the word security is not in your job title does not mean you can get away with complacency.

If you see an issue – speak up. If you could suggest an improvement then speak up too. I get that there may be cultural barriers in some workplaces around these sort of things but good employers will remove these barriers and allow a physiologically safe workplace.

This is an amazingly cost effective way to help secure your environment.

A lack of data protection is not only causing embarrassment to the IT industry as whole but is costing individuals – who have trusted banks and other large institutions with their data – both time and money.

Nowadays, it is easy for a person to switch banks, insurance companies, airlines, phone / internet / TV provides or any other service provider really easily and that may have consequences for your employment.

So, whatever industry you are in I’d encourage you to play your own part – however small – in helping your company keep the data of their customers safe and secure.

Have a great day.



Speaking at Events


I recently got the opportunity to speak at the “PASS Marathon, The New World of Data Privacy”.

I had not spoken at a virtually event for quite some time and I’d forgotten how different it is to a live presentation.

There’s pros and cons to both live presentations and virtually presentations, but for me, the main difference is having audience interaction.

At a live event you are able to see the faces in the audience and constantly gauge how you feel things are going – and if appropriate change on the fly. You can also take questions ‘in real time’.

However, with a virtual event you get to ‘stay on script’ the entire time and just carry on, not really getting a gauge of how your presentation is ‘going down’.

I’d like to thank everybody who gave me feedback and take the opportunity to encourage viewers of such events to provide feedback – in as much detail as you feel comfortable with. For example if you didn’t like an element of the presentation then please say why (not just that you didn’t like it please) – this helps people to improve.

I’d additionally like to encourage audience members who have not spoken previously to consider doing so. If a virtual presentation is not the place to start for you, then consider heading along to a local SQL Saturday event – there’s always a call for speakers before hand.

There’s plenty of people to help you along on your presentation journey at these events and also in the wider SQL community.

These’s also a lot of online courses aimed at presenting and finding one of those might be a good starting point for you.

I hope to be viewing your presentation soon.

Have a great day.