As previously mentioned on this blog, awareness of the european data protection reform is spotty. According to Daniel Westman, researcher att Stockholm university, those who comply with the current legislation have little to worry about as the new regulation contains little that is fundamentally new. Those who don't, however, might face stiff sanctions when the new rules come into effect in 2018.
BizzGrid recently held a privacy and data protection event in Stockholm to bring experts, authorities and companies together and to raise awareness. I've been in touch with them on and off during the planning of this event, and finally got to catch up with Bizzgrid's Anastasia Lodhi for a chat in person.
How do you perceive the level of awareness regarding GDPR and data protection in general among swedish companies and authorities?
- As surprisingly shallow. The tooth-breaking combination of GDPR still rings a bell to a very narrow circle of privacy activists... and even there the specific knowledge of the issue could be hardly called unanimous or clear, as the goals are different for the different groups of stakeholders. GDPR is definitely the biggest milestone in the way personal data is going to be managed, that has to be conveyed to the companies’ boards and the users in general. Yet media coverage on this matter comes slowly and usually doesn’t exceed the format of the “10-to-do things”... It is weird to see this matter avoided in such a data-driven society as Sweden.
Several panelists argued that Datainspektionen, the swedish data protection authority, ought to be more proactive:
- Companies get good support when it comes to swedish data protection legislation, but not regarding GDPR, said Elin van Beesel, KPMG.
- I’d like them to change focus. Today they’re helping those who seek information. I think they could become better at servicing data protection professionals, said Caroline Olstedt Carlström, Klarna. Amelia Andersdotter, founder of Dataskydd.net, agreed. Sofia Gunnarsson, founder of Sharp Cookie Advisors, added:
- The government should get better at coordinating efforts. Today, several authorities work with data protection as IT security and privacy is regarded as collective responsibilites. This can lead to unclear or conflicting messages to companies and consumers. One solution could be to assign a working group to coordinate efforts and research.
Datainspektionen wasn't represented at the event.
Did you approach Datainspektionen about participation?
- We’ve been bombarding Datainspektionen with calls and emails from the moment the idea for this event was conceived, suggesting anything from open topic panels, specific keynote session or just a regular attendance. Pity that the actual management was not responsive and did not attend, as I am sure they'd learn a lot about the community they are meant to serve. We were lucky to get Prof. Simone Fischer-Hübner onboard as a speaker who is the member of their Advisory Board, says Anastasia Lodhi.
Are you satisfied with the event?
- We were really happy to see the Nordic privacy and data protection community’s leadership attending. Over 80 companies represented by their legal, IT, security and financial executives prioritized the Talk. Government and Public organisations, including activists and academic researchers were also there. It was an excellent blend of the right guys. We are particularly glad that the concept of an interactive meeting was well received and understood - as the delegates were actively engaged with every channel of communication: online, onstage and especially via mobile gamification tool.
What is Bizzgrid?
Business events would make more meaning if they were made by you, right? So essentially, BizzGrid integrates live and digital talks into a personalized business networking space, where professionals can pretty much build their own events. You define your business networking objectives, BizzGrid puts them together into an arrangement, as if it was your own event. The web application is now being tested, meeting the world end of this year.
Following requests for something more private and exclusive, Bizzgrid will arrange a "privacy debate dinner" in Stockholm later this year.
- The dinner is a blend of an "underground dining" with a discussion held by the influential personas in the field. This time we will be debating about the DP issues in the banking sector, bringing up real and recent privacy cases. Dinner Debates have built a renome of Circles of Trust, where high profile people can talk openly without any fear of judgement, says Lodhi.