Data protection and privacy are key factors surrounding the Big Data Industry. We secured an interview with Ms Sarah Phenix, Head of Group Privacy Programme, Barclays who gave the Big Data World team some enlightening insights as to how Barclays are protecting their clients data and the team process behind that. So a little introductionâ€¦
"I'm Sarah Phenix and I run the global privacy programme for Barclays. My background really I started in Operational Risk and Governance and working on specific items there and moved on to managing operational risk, then the wider risk world and eventually ended up looking at the data protection regulation and how that applies to Barclays across the world.
How are you dealing with Data on a day to day basis?
I'm running the change programme for Barclays and what we're doing is, we had a bit of a blank page to start with, which was quite good, so what we've done is designed an operating model where we want to actively manage privacy risk and make sure we've got the right people with the right skills in place and also they understand what their privacy responsibilities are. That's not just what goes on in the UK but also what goes on in the rest of the world.
Do you find that it's very different in the UK to globally? Do you think there are different challenges dealing with it on a global scale?
Definitely, there are lots of cultural considerations, people have many different attitudes towards personal data and how to protect it, or not, as the case may be. So for instance, some of the countries who we have either very little or no law at all around data privacy then there's not the awareness and there's not the general inbuilt need to protect that data. Whereas if you go to some of the places that we have (data laws), Western Europe, Spain and France, then everyone is very aware and it is a very high priority.
Is that to do with perception of the community as well as the laws that are in place? So obviously in Europe there's a lot of concern around new privacy laws that are coming into play and also in the United States as well. Or is it more the general public that are concerned about their privacy?
It's a bit of both. In the countries that are a lot more privacy aware and they have stronger privacy laws the both the general public and people within Barclays have a greater perception of it and a greater understanding of privacy and the public within these countries know their rights and exercise them a lot more.
What is the greatest challenge when it comes to data?
The greatest challenge for me is keeping up with the business really. So for me it's how the data protection laws and the restrictions that we have around moving data around Barclays and how that aligns with what the business wants to do. There are some step change developments and making sure you are part of that process.
Does it create some internal tension if the business wants to move forward in a certain way but privacy laws mean that not possible?
I think a lot of people see us as putting the brakes on to begin with but the more you talk to them and the more they understand why, they do get it. And we have a lot of different work arounds that we can use, so it's not like we're putting the brakes on, what we just need to do is to get them to pause and think about what requirements we need to meet to meet the business requirement that they are looking to push through.
And what has been the biggest advance certainly in the last year when it comes to data privacy?
Within Barclays it has been the awareness around how privacy laws relate to you personally and how you can apply this in work. The more aware and the more we can do awareness campaigns and educate people in a way that reaches them, and they can relate to it, then the more success we have and I feel that is one of our biggest advancements.
Check back tomorrow for part two of the interview!
To find out more about Sarah Phenix, visit her bio and find out about her presentation on our Big Data Website: Visit Big Data World here