IT people don’t get the Legals

OK, straight to the point. People who work in IT don’t typically have much of a clue about the legal stuff in the IA space.

One of our best dressed chums, Stewart Room at Field Fisher Waterhouse, regularly runs sessions on the Data Protection Act, the implications of the ICO’s work and the rather terrifying stuff coming out of Europe in the not-too-distant future.

Having had the pleasure of attending one of his recent sessions, I was perturbed at the pervasive nature of it. Did you know that British Standards are apparently the legal minimum, as enshrined in Ward vs Ritz Hotel 1992? Nope, me neither. But then again, taking a straw-poll amongst my friends at the IA coal-face, I’m not the only one. This stuff is real, and coming down the line at us all. And the problem? Legal people don’t like talking to IT. Oh I’m sure its fine when they want their iPad to talk to the network so they can look up some case law, but actually having IT and Legal go through this in detail doesn’t seem to have been happening.

Folks, this is deadly serious. Christopher Graham (the Information Commissoner) did everything but identify who is going to be nailed first during his keynote at IA10. He was delightfully belligerent and absolutely on the money – this is not our data, it’s the customers, and we’d better be looking after it properly or he is going to make our lives real tough real soon.

The message? Go for a walk. Love your Legal people. Because if you don’t, you are going to be spending a lot more time with them in the future unpicking the mess.


About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
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