Last night we hosted the third of our Cellar Club events - this time in a new 'Cellar', the rather impressive vaults at the RSA. For those of you who asked, the vaults were originally designed as river-front warehouses, presumably by John Adam himself.
Despite our own team being decimated by the rather nasty 'flu virus going around, we had a good turnout with colleagues from law, insurance, property, recruitment, accounting, media and financial services represented. Everyone I chatted with seemed to be busy and cautiously optimistic about the business environment.
Giles Watkins*, from Concentium was our speaker.
His excellent talk on privacy matters was a relaxed (but slightly scary) walk through the world of privacy - in particular how businesses need to be aware of and prepared for the risks of privacy breaches and the increasing vigilance and often severe responses of lawmakers to such breaches. Giles cited a number of recent examples of businesses sustaining substantial fines and reputational damage following almost 'accidental' leaks of customer information - incidents that could, seemingly happen to any business at any time. He also pointed out that there is little consistency across jurisdictions as to how these breaches are regarded by law makers.
Giles finished on a positive note by saying that he believes that ultimately the approach you take should be common-sense based but that businesses can benefit from being prepared through increased brand trust and capability for dealing with complex data issues in a more innovative way.
Thank to all for coming: our next Cellar Club event will be happening in March 2011 - details to be announced soon.
*Giles recently founded Concentium, a boutique advisory firm operating on the boundary of business and technology helping organisations to close the chasm between the two. Before Concentium, Giles had a 21 year career in top-tier consulting with Ernst & Young, founding and leading Ernst & Young’s Technology Due Diligence and Post-Transaction Advisory practice, which became the largest such practice in the world.