May 25th 2022, marks four years since the General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as GDPR came into effect in the UK and the EU. The GDPR's primary aim is to enhance individuals' control and rights over their personal data and simplify international businesses' regulatory environment. Four years on, though, are consumers adequately protected?
James is a consumer rights advocate and entrepreneur. He founded and grew Resolver, a free, independent resolution service with 18 million unique visitors a year that has solved six billion pounds worth of issues and is the largest independent resolution service in Europe.
James has advised Government, Regulators and Ombudsmen on consumer rights and how to deliver better customer services.
He is on the Board of the Dispute Ombudsman, a Consumer Expert to The Office of Road and Rail, a Non-Executive Director to Consumer Scotland, a co-founder and Non- Executive Director to The Collaboration Network and an advisor to Life Ledger.
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Welcome to The Actionable Futurist® Podcast, a show all about the near term future with practical and actionable advice from a range of global experts to help you stay ahead of the curve. Every episode answers the question what's the future with voices and opinions that need to be heard. Your host is international keynote speaker and The Actionable Futurist® Andrew Grill.James Walker:
I still gets surprised when I'm in a hotel and asked to fill out all this information on their Wi Fi form. I put dummy information in there, my name is you're not getting and then my surname is your my data. And then my email addresses go firstname.lastname@example.org And I go fantastic. Come in use the Wi Fi and all my friends go. Can you do that? I said yes, you can. I also have a fake birthday. I have a real birthday. And I have an online birthday that I use for everything except where I'm required to legally. And in 99.97% of the cases. My fake birthday lets me in I had to change it on Facebook, though, because everyone was wishing me happy birthday at the wrong time of the year. But against my friends. When can you do that? I said no one said I can't back to the take five, why are you giving someone your date of birth? Why you're giving someone your name and even your address? Because as you know, it's not just fraudulent marketers. There's a whole industry out there about credentials and scamming people online.James Walker:
Somebody came to me and said, loaded my information has been breached. And I'm worried about how it's being used. Do you know where it's been breached from? I think it's from here and I went okay, I tell you what, why don't you go back to that site, or phone up customer services, and get them to add your middle name and get them to save the data. So you know, my name would be James John, not my real middle name just in case somebody's gonna use it against me. But did it they did get a phone call. And then some they said that, you know, okay, so what's my middle name? I'm sorry, we don't have that. Boom. It's almost like how do you reverse engineer, you add in more data by the fact that your data has been gone, that therefore somebody won't have your data data breached has a half life, you know, it's a bit like a radioactive isotope. The longer it's out there, the less value it is, you know, going back to pounds. I remember one of mine was a data breach from LinkedIn in 2011 worldwide A job, my house, my primary email, they all are different from them. So actually, if somebody tries to use that, and my passwords have changed, I know that it's not real. If there was a leak, like Talk Talk happened, what a few years ago, the most damage was done. before anyone knew that talk talks data have been leaked. The way the data was leaked was super simple that people put a query into the search bar on The Talk Talk website that said, please show me the database, and it showed the database and they copied the whole thing down. Scammers then phoned up before talk to it worked out to say, Hey, this is how much you spend. This is what programme you're on. This was your last bill, please, could you instal this software? Because we need to make sure a monitor for security on your device? Do you fall for it? Because they've got enough information about you to make it believable? Social engineering is something that I think a lot of people get thrown for, almost out of time. But I just want to touch on some consumer research that you did, you said that over three quarters of consumers feel falling to a victim or scam or breaches inevitable, which is a bit sad, and they're ignoring the risks and taking action to prevent it. Almost everyone has a digital footprint, according to your research. But eight in 10, consumers don't know how big or far reaching it is, what other things surprised you in the research that you conducted. The big one on this is the number of consumers that actually believe they know what GDPR is, and the data regulations. The reality is, it's not like that. Because if I know the fact that every website should be informing you your data being shared. I don't know anyone else that knows that. So therefore, for me, there is a belief that everyone knows, because they've heard a few bus lines when this came out. And all the same things were like, it was all about cookies and cookies can't be used cookies, this and cookies that wasn't about the bit that really matters, the bit that can be used against you the bit that is going to be shared across the internet, your cookies aren't shared across the internet, your name, address, phone number, income, age and children could well be that's what's going to be on the dark web and not your cookies. The concern for me is people believe they know what their rights are, when fundamentally they don't. The service is fantastic. It works on Gmail, it works on Office 365. That's outlook and Hotmail. Where do you want to take the service next, this is about going back to that element of how do we help you to be able to distinguish between good and bad actors out there. Being able to analyse the data to be able to look at this company haven't used for a long time. This is a company we know that sells data. So it's all about adding the intelligence or bringing in those information lists for people like the Financial Conduct Authority, we want to make this that you are back in control. And we are giving you very simple ways of being able to choose from the two and a half 1000 companies that may be in your inbox, which ones that you don't have your data very quickly, very simply, you know, let's keep it for that three minutes. We're all busy. We all know we should do something about this. But we will think it's too complex. Three minutes is not too long to sort yourself out and to protect yourself. The government organisation responsible for upholding GDPR is the Information Commissioner's Office or ICAO, where do they need to be involved in what should they be doing next to ensure that services like yours are well known, and people know about controlling their data and they keep the bad guys and gals at bay, I have one element that the ICAO needs to be able to change. And it's not a complex one. But it's a hard one, which is in every other market sector. There is fundamentally a form of the polluter pays model. So you know, if you're in work in finance and consumer complaints, and they escalate a case, that goes to the Financial Ombudsman that costs about 700 pounds a case to be managed. So if you're really bad, you get lots of case fees. And you go we should improve in the data perspective is everyone pays a annual charge to be regulated by the ICO. They don't pay any fees for an investigation into the firm. There are unlimited number of firms that the ICO manages to take to court or fine a year. And that's mainly because the number of consumers complaining more people that complain, the less time they have to deal with things. And all of those fines go back to the Treasury. So what happens is that you see more people worried about their data, there's more of a workload for the ICAO to deal with, there's less time to be able to go after the bad actors. You need a mechanism of polluter pays to either put an ombudsman and a regulator to be separated. So you have an enforcement and a regulation separate or still you combine the two, but you have a mechanism to make sure that actually the money that comes in from bad behaviour funds the enforcement of bad behaviour against others. I love that notion of polluter pays. Let's run you through a quick fire round one and a bit more about you iPhone or android iphone window or aisle. I am OCD on this I have to be I'll What's your biggest hope for 2022 that we can all love each other and get on and not keep having fights. What's the Have you most on your phone? Mine is stripe final quickfire question, how do you want to be remembered as being fun? Good answer. So as this is the actionable futures podcast, what three things can our listeners be doing today to ensure they start to control the use of their data online, delete the data from people that have it that they shouldn't have it no longer go to Marketing Service Providers and tell them not to use your data ever again. And actually think about what email addresses you use or the way that you tag data gJames Walkeroing in. So if anything comes into the future, you know where it's from a can actually trace it back to make sure that you're in control. James, a fascinating discussion. How can people find out more about you and your work? Look at right.ly, we have a blog, I write a number of blogs about things that we're working on. I also do some bits on Twitter. Anyone reach out to me, I'll have a chat with anyone. James, thank you so much for your time you have a really valuable service. You are a passionate advocate of consumers and consumer rights and I need to tell everyone about rightly so they go and use it. But thank you so much for your time today. Pleasure.Voiceover:
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