Information Governance Issues

April 5, 2009

The data loss devil is no longer dominating front pages and public concern over data protection has been reduced as the media focus turns to the world financial crisis and MPs expenses. But IT lawyers know only too well that the data loss devil has not gone away, he has just stepped outside for a smoke. Data management issues will not be disappearing any time soon.

Moreover, while many business organisations direct their energies at survival in difficult trading conditions and are tempted to adopt an approach that cuts costs at every corner, proper data management must remain a priority for them. Indeed it must increase in importance in such a climate because a bad decision now, which leads to an incident that affects consumer confidence and a dip in turnover, might produce the sort of ‘dip’ that one finds at Beachy Head. The IT lawyer has to ensure that data management issues remain high on the agenda for their clients or employers, especially now that data management issues have a general legal perspective and are no longer the preserve of the security and data protection experts.

Last year’s Information Governance received rave reviews from participants. The 2009 Information Governance Conference will surely help IT lawyers ensure that data management issues do not slip back down the agenda. It examines some of the key themes impacting on data management now.

Chaired by Roger Bickerstaff of Bird & Bird, an SCL Trustee, the one-day Conference starts with Toby Stevens of the Enterpise Privacy Group speaking about the national ID cards scheme. This is often seen as an issue for the future but it is in fact already a factor pervading data management and privacy issues – and it is as well to remember that the ID cards scheme is in fact already in force, albeit in a limited context.

Lorna Brazell of Bird & Bird will look at ambient intelligence including the authentication of individuals, identity management and partial identities, RFID, MRTDs, eIDs and ‘privacy by design’ (and if you don’t know what the TLAs stand for then your need to attend the Conference is desperate).

Stephen McCartney, who was one of the most appreciated speakers from last year’s Conference, will then speak about data breach notifications. Stephen is Head of Data Protection Promotion at the ICO and, as well as being a most engaging speaker, has the inside track on the all important developments in this area.

A panel session and open forum discussion will follow lunch under the title ‘Living with an increased focus on data security’. The panel brings together Mathew Bennett (UK Legal Director at EDS), Lee Newcombe (Principal Consultant at Capgemini) and Stewart Room (Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse). The session is thus guaranteed to meld industry nous and the lawyer’s perspective and the resulting amalgam should be pure gold.
Simon Deane-Johns, Consultant Lawyer, Axiom, will look at the data issues surrounding Phorm and similar behavioural advertising phenomena. The questions that arise over Phorm say a great deal about attitudes to data retention and data manipulation and the balance that has to be found with public concern over privacy. These concerns are also reflected in Andrew Sharpe’s session on ISP data retention issues, which follows the Phorm session. That session will also bring those attending the Conference up to date with the latest developments on the on/off legislation in this area.

The final session looks at data management in the cloud, the hot topics of cloud computing and SaaS. This session is presented by Bill Jones and Kirsten Whitfield of Wragge & Co and they will address the challenges in trust, accountability and compliance that are too often hidden in the cloud.

The Conference cost £225 plus VAT for SCL members and carries 5.5 hours of CPD.