Part 2 of the interview with Sarah Phenix, Head of Group Privacy Programmes at Barclays: Read Part One Here. Sarah has won several international industry awards for the work she had led on the Privacy Programme, including recognition from the IAPP (Large Organisation Innovation Award 2009), Secure Computing Magazine (Team of the Year 2009, Project of the Year 2010) and in January this year a DBA award for Design Effectiveness. Sarah’s work also features on the UK Data Protection Regulator’s website for use by small to medium sized firms.
Do you feel that organisations need to do more? Do you think that Barclays are almost breaking ground when it comes to education?
Certainly the privacy awareness campaigns that we run are ground breaking. We have won a number of industry awards for what we've done and we've done it on a global basis. Last January was our last global campaign from the group centre, and that was every country, every jurisdiction and following that each of the business units run their own campaign throughout the year and maintain the communication and awareness.
Is securing data becoming harder or easier as data volumes grow?
To be honest, internally we do have the right processes in place, we have a lot of systems in place to make sure our data is secure. I think if you look externally its becoming more and more difficult to secure your data, particularly with the number of Wi-Fi networks that you can log in to and social networking. There are so many ways that your data can be collected from you and a lot of the time you're not notified of that or don't know its happening.
So I suppose that it's vital for education to continue and for people to really understand that it's not just the obvious data sets, i.e. financial data or your medical data that can be at risk, it's that data is being taken from you at all times.
I think it's quite surprising when you find out sometimes, particularly how some of the internet search engines are tracking your movements and provide you with adverts that you may be interested in and there are lots and lots of ways that they collect your data and use it
Do you think it's a positive thing that that is increasingly becoming the case?
I think it's a positive thing, but it has to be done in a way that people are aware of. At the moment there is a lot of hidden data collection which goes on behind the scenes and I don't think that's right.
So do you think it's up to the organisations themselves to be very transparent or do you think it should be imposed by governments?
I feel that it needs to be a bit of both. There are some companies out there which will quite happily take your data and not tell you about it and continue to not tell you about it until they are forced to do so.
Do you think it's in an organisations best interest to make that process clear?
Good question. I'm not 100% sure. I would say yes, particularly for banking, for some other companies it may not be quite so appropriate, but I think as long as you give the public the awareness that you will be collecting their data then you are operating along the right lines.
And I suppose with yourself coming from a financial side of things, you're dealing with a very different situation compare to for example retail, because people are so much more protective of their financial data.
That's right. Absolutely. We have a heightened sense of awareness of what we need to do and how we need to protect the data that we have
Do you think that the role of IT is changing within organisations because of data?
It's definitely changing and it's defiantly changing within Barclays. A lot of the systems that are implemented now, so some of the data leakage systems and that sort of thing, we're now using those systems to give us MI on where we need to hone in and fix particular problems or educate people in the way that they're using the systems that we have. I think the world of IT is changing organically where it's growing and learning to support the laws and the regulations we have to meet as a business. We work very closely with our IT internally and we do a lot of good work with them and they are there to support us as well.
Do you think that small to medium enterprises and profit from implementing a Big Data strategy?
Yes I think you can. It's being aware of what your responsibilities are but it's also about being smart about what you're doing.
What do you think that 2012 is going to hold for Big Data?
I think that business is growing and fast moving, particularly in these times. There's a lot of centralisation that I've seen going on in different areas of financial services and that's all around saving money but I think we just have to be mindful about that and what that means for data privacy and making sure the business keeps in line with what we need to comply with. But also the regulators, with the new EU data protective and some other the key things coming in such as Breech Notification, it's almost like we're moving in two different directions sometimes. So the local regulatory boards might not support the types of business that the business wants to do, and I think that these are the sorts of issues that will be coming up over the course of the next year.
Do you think that smaller businesses need to be more vocal when it comes to the privacy directive and do you think that organisations need to stand up and get more involved in the debate?
I think they should get more involved in the debate definitely. You have huge organisations that have thousands, millions of sets of customer data and staff data even. They should get involved in the debate because I think we've all got to work together to make sure we protect data in the best way possible and some of the rules don't support that and sometimes the way the business develops doesn't always support the rules
And finally, what is it that you're most looking forward to taking part in at Big Data World?
I'm looking forward to meeting lots of people, who are in the same boat as me really, and having the opportunity to talk through how they cope with the same sorts of challenges that I face.
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
To read the first part of interview with Sarah, follow this link