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Data Protection Leader

Current Issue (September 2017)

Volume: 14 Issue: 9



About Data Protection Leader:

The monthly law publication which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy. Topics covered include data transfers and outsourcing, data localisation and retention, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the e-Privacy Directive, data security, marketing and behavioural advertising, consent, employee monitoring, privacy compliance, risk management, DPO responsibilities, accountability, Privacy by Design, acquisition and mergers, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data / read more

DPL September 2017 
In defence of the new privacy experts


Let me start by saying that I don’t really like the word ‘expert.’ It has a show-offy ring to it that is slightly condescending. I prefer the word ‘specialist,’ which somehow conveys an element of geeky devotion to a subject or field. Either way, experts or specialists are there to serve a purpose – ideally, a useful one. The growth in importance of data protection that we have seen in recent years, which in Europe appears to be heading towards its climax as we approach the General Data Protection Regulation’s (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’) deadline date, has created a very fertile ground for ‘privacy experts.’ They are everywhere: e-mailing you offers for their much-needed services, tweeting incessantly as if the world was about to end and popping up in every possible corner of your LinkedIn feed. The noise that the new privacy experts are making seems truly deafening and dangerously hyped.

How did we even get here? This used to be the preserve of the initiated; a cosy environment of like-minded individuals with specialist knowledge of an arcane field. But now that the GDPR and its related buzzwords appear to have gone mainstream, anyone can be a privacy expert it seems.  However, as irritating as this may be to us old hands, it may in fact not be such a bad thing after all. If it is true that everyone needs a privacy expert in their life – most organisations certainly do – the current influx may be our only hope to tackle the ever-so-complex GDPR challenge. So at the risk of being crucified by the purists for my heresy, I would like to make a positive case for the new privacy experts. 

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