With this month’s focus on data protection we had a conversation with our own Data Protection Officer, Maxwell Allen, to find our more about what drew him to the subject and what the role is like.

What led to you taking an interest in data protection?

My role is a combination of past skills. I used to work in computing for many years before joining the NHS. I then worked on the front line for over a decade. But I then came full circle and got drawn back into computing. This role is a good mix, as my IT skills come in handy and knowing how the NHS ticks is also useful. So I guess you could say it’s a natural evolution. I took on my first information governance role some 5 years ago and I haven’t looked back. I find the legal aspects particularly fascinating.

What’s the most bizarre breach of data you’ve ever heard of?

Any of the breaches on the ICO enforcement list are interesting. There’s some bizarre breaches listed on there! There’s been a few cases of statutory teams leaving entire cabinets full of confidential information behind when they move buildings. I find it hard to comprehend this level of carelessness. I can’t believe some of the large data breaches don’t get more media coverage: Vote Leave Limited, Facebook, Uber, Bounty Ltd, Heathrow Airport, and Bupa Insurance have all received significant fines recently but these haven’t been widely reported.

What interests you most in data protection?

The deliberate misuse of data on a large scale by organisations that should know better.

Are there any questions that you are commonly asked?

One of the best things about this job is that I get asked a wide variety of questions.

What are your thoughts on the future of data protection?

The future is big data. All the IT systems are gradually joining up. And I’m certain much of the data will be managed by AI in the future. It will be interesting to see how this plays out…

What concerns you most in terms of data protection and general practice?

The amount of Data Sharing Agreement that are flying around!

If you’d like to find out more about our data protection service then please give us a call on 0117 9702755 or view more information here.