News > EEMA Fireside Chat is a Roaring Success

On Tuesday evening in London, EEMA hosted its second Fireside Chat, with more than 50 privacy, identity and security professionals coming together to debate the question ‘Is privacy an obsolete concept?’

The event was opened by David Dinsdale representing ATOS – the generous hosts for the evening, and the Chairman of EEMA, Jon Shamah who invited attendees to observe a minute of quiet contemplation out of respect for Caspar Bowden who sadly passed away recently.

The following debate was conducted by two highly respected authorities in the world of identity – Andy Tobin, Director of Identity for TeleSign, and Andi Hindle, a member of the UMA working group at Kantara, with proceedings being overseen by Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Mydex Data Services, David Alexander.


The lively and interactive debate addressed many issues including the ownership, management control and value of personal data, future opportunities for people to commoditise their data, issues of consent, trust relationships, freedom of information requests, customer loyalty programmes and data privacy education. The debate also elaborated on insights shared at EEMA’s Annual Conference earlier in the month, surrounding the forthcoming changes to European data protection regulation.

The discussion also highlighted how difficult it is to find out (or worse retrieve) what personal data is held by organisations in both the public and private sectors, concluding that information requests are often met with a lack of cooperation and even laziness. As one member of the audience humorously observed: “You can get the information, but it’s like retrieving an ice cream from a child: it’s possible but very messy!”

The debate concluded with the unanimous verdict, by a show of hands, that the concept of privacy is far from obsolete.