Data Privacy Events Guest Post MyData Blog: London hub relaunching under new management!

A series of blogs that explores the guiding beliefs and motivations of some of the people in the MyData movement, who are working passionately with a common aim of empowering individuals to do more with their data.

The MyData hub in London is relaunching with a new leadership team and grand plans after the previous organisers, Nicolo Zingales and Wilhelm Van Der Walt stepped down from their posts to focus on other commitments.

Jonathan Jones, Aysem Diker Vanberg and Davide Calvi had all previously attended MyData London events, and decided to step up and take on “stewardship of this fantastic organisation”, with their initial focus on carrying on Nicolo and Wilhelm’s excellent work and planning a dynamic and wide-ranging event series for 2020.

Their first event – a panel session on the topic of Who should manage my data? – is due to take place at Monzo’s London office on Wednesday, March 11 at 6.30 for a 7pm start. You can book your place at the Meetup here >>

Panellists include:
Jessica Montgomery Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Birmingham University
Duncan McCann Senior Researcher at New Economics Foundation
Fab de Liberali Chief Product Officer at
Open Data Institute Representative (TBC)

The panel, which will be chaired by Author and Venture Capitalist Suki Fuller who is also a Fellow at The Council of Competitive Intelligence Fellows, aims to explore the latest technological solutions and legal frameworks available, and debate the best ways to tackle the problems of data management and privacy.

The event is aimed at everyone, from academia and industry, to standards bodies and regulators, but most importantly – individual data subjects – ie all of us!

Jonathan, who became aware of the group through his background in the enterprise blockchain space and related interests including data ethics, privacy and personal information, said: “I realised that no-one had really found a solution to the problem of data privacy – and the way very few organisations have our data is clearly wrong.

“MyData global’s vision and strategy really stood out, especially their human-centric approach to data management. Also their scale – the international presence of MyData and the growing number of hubs speak to the validity of their message and the effectiveness of the MyData global team.

“It’s a really difficult topic, with so many aspects that need to be considered, we need a complete solution, and the only way we can do that is through discussion.”

He added: “We want to make this tangible, visible and relatable for people. This first event is a big line in the sand for how we’re going to do things.”

Aysem is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Greenwich, and her interest in data and the issues around it stems from her academic work.

She said: “I found myself teaching computing and law and IT law and became very interested in data, privacy and GDPR, and started researching the area, not only as an academic but as a consumer. How our data is taken and owned is very wrong – it’s my data, I should be able to hold it.

“MyData is really in line with my thinking, it’s important to give control to individuals, to make an informed choice. There’s a lot of digital ignorance, we have to raise awareness of what’s going on. We want to engage and reach more people.”

She said as an academic she applied for several posts, which each had a 10-page form, and it would be so much more convenient to be able to complete them “with the click of a button”.

Davide, an engineer and data scientist, said he has been interested in the meaning around data and the insights it can give since he started work on Big Data projects back in 2008.

He said: “I shifted my interest to personal data and privacy because big companies were starting to abuse the dominance in managing user data. During that time I was taking an MSc in Digital Sociology and I became more aware of how easily people were prone to sharing private information without thinking about the possible consequences.”

He then joined MyData global as a founding member and became involved in some MyData global activities to help benefit consumers and stop them being exploited. He added: “The ethical approach in how we manage our personal data is still missing.”

He is looking forward, he said, to the relaunched London hub becoming a stage for companies and organisations that are working on how to protect user data, as well as “improving the trust between people and society, between people and corporates and between people and authority.” The new leadership trio also hope to stimulate interest in the data privacy movement generally, including by collaborating with other MyData hubs. They are also interested in partnership and collaboration opportunities. You can get in touch with them via email or come along to the event – sign up today.

Ayşem Diker Vanberg

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