beingdigital 2009 event

Challenged to sum up “digital footprints, personas and privacy” in 30 seconds at the end of yesterday’s panel, I rather lamely blathered on about ‘governance’, and rounded off with the example of CCTV cameras. Why isn’t there a law (as opposed to a rather weedy code of conduct) which makes it obligatory to label any CCTV installation with the contact details of its owner/operator?

I am delighted, therefore, to see that theme reprised in this Guardian article from yesterday evening; Alan Travis cites CCTV regulation as a potential “quick win” for new Home Secretary Alan Johnson. (Along with ditching the ID Card scheme, revising the DNA retention policy and curbing the extent of access to telecomms data).

I’d love to think there was some connection between that and the presence of Mike Bracken (the Guardian’s Head of Consumer Facing Technology) on yesterday’s closing panel, but I very much doubt it.

In retrospect, I should have led with the telecomms data example – it beautifully illustrates the way in which a changing economic and policy climate can lead to a less workable regulatory environment and worse privacy outcomes. This is a slide I’ve used to make that point recently (click on the image to enlarge it).


You can see the rest of that presentation here; Identity and Privacy in an Economic Downturn.

Just two other notes on yesterday’s event: first, congratulations and thanks to Tony Fish and Simon Grice for a really good event – good speakers and lots of audience interaction.

Second, sincere apologies for wrongly attributing the “Thelma Arnold” breach to Yahoo!, and my thanks to Gary Gale of Yahoo! for pointing out that that distinction belonged to AOL.

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