Our Data Protection team work hard every day to ensure we treat everyone's data fairly and securely – and always with a smile on their faces - so we think they’re worth celebrating!
Here, Data Protection Officer Gordon shares some reflections over the past year, some top tips and a look to the future…
Happy Data Privacy Day! What do you have planned for the day?
We want to make Data Protection all about consciousness of the risks we face and how everyone in our business can help to address these. We have a meet and greet with my team, an intranet article, new means of engaging with us, a prize quiz and most importantly – doughnuts!
Tell us a bit about your team…
I’ve been in data protection roles in financial services for the last 15 years or so. I was delighted to join Vanquis in October 2017, to help with our preparations for GDPR. My team – Mandi and Daiyaan have many years’ experience in both data protection and information security between them. It's a real privilege to have them working with me.
Why is data protection so important?
Aside from the obvious security aspects, it’s all about putting the individual first - being fair, proportionate and transparent in how we process their data, and ensuring they are able to exercise their legal rights in relation to their data.
Tell us about some exciting things you’ve been working on...
Almost too many to mention! We’re currently reviewing our oversight activities and Key Risk and Performance Indicators to ensure we identify risk and issues at the earliest possible opportunity.
GDPR was a huge change in legislation last year, how was the process at Vanquis?
It’s been a challenge! Many established processes and frameworks had to be amended and new controls and measures created to ensure we could comply. It has been a great team effort, everyone across the business has embraced the spirit of co-operation to get us to where we are today. Data protection compliance is a journey – we’ll continue to challenge ourselves to improve our performance.
How’s this affected the team and industry as a whole?
There’s a greater emphasis now on maintaining more detailed records of our processing operations. This means more in-depth engagement with business areas who want to change or introduce new products or processes. It keeps us busy, but it gives us an invaluable understanding of the Bank’s operations.
Where do you see the future of data security?
Greater accountability upon organisations to ensure their processing is fair, lawful and transparent. We’ve seen some substantial fines being imposed on businesses who have failed to get it right. We all have a responsibility to ensure what we do is clear to those whose data we use.
What are your top tips for people and protecting their data?
Data security is an issue with which we’ve all become familiar in recent years, but there are many other important aspects of data protection – such as your rights as an individual. I’d recommend everyone reads the Information Commissioner’s guidance on these (https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/); you have more control over your data than you may realise. And you should probably eat more doughnuts too...