The current season of the hit Channel 4 show The Great British Bake Off has, like previous years, gripped the imagination of the British public, with millions tuning in to watch each week. Comperes Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig stand by ready to comfort the amateur bakers, who are regularly reduced to tears by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith who seemingly take great pleasure in savaging the ‘soggy bottomed’ tributes to confectionary. I was convinced that Rahul might run from the tent last week when Paul mercilessly slashed the head off his rather sad looking Kagekone (a Danish cake) but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?
As we sit at home sipping a hot cuppa, it’s so easy to wax lyrical about all the things the bakers should have done better. From the safety of my sofa, I can’t help but exclaim… ‘well that needed to prove for longer!…’ or ‘those flavour combinations would never work; what were they thinking!’ Everyone’s an expert, aren’t they?
In all honesty though, the contestants are fantastic. Their dedication to the perfect bake and the good humour with which they prostrate themselves in front of their peers on a weekly basis is more than admirable. I’m not so sure I would be as good a sport as them if I had to undergo the same level of relentless examination in search of a Paul Hollywood handshake. I mean can you imagine what it would be like having that lot presiding over your GDPR programme? I can hear Paul now: “The combination of stakeholders you’ve got in the mix is fantastic but you’ve baked in some truly awful elements into your Subject Access Process…” or “all the data has leaked out of your CRM and ruined your organisational reputation but your breach response was well put together”… the horror!
In a post GDPR world
Data Protection Officers are in many ways much like the GBBO contestants, working their damndest to create a programme that makes a real difference to customers and employees, all the while trying to placate internal and external GDPR “know-it-alls”. They daren’t stop and reflect on just how much they have achieved, for fear that taking even one eye off the proverbial GDPR pressure cooker will result in the pan hissing with displeasure and the oven desperately wafting smoke-signals to the pastry gods that the Breton Butter Cake has most definitely had it.
DPOs are undoubtedly perfectionists; we’re all cut from the same cloth. The temptation is to keep our heads down and grind on with the next challenge without fully acknowledging what’s been achieved but in today’s non-stop data protection world, where we’re constantly under the lens, it’s vital we do.
This week take some time to step back from your mountain of iced buns, wipe the flour from your forehead and get some perspective. Celebrate success and remind those armchair critics just how much has been achieved!
We’re all star bakers!
Michael Bond, Head of Data Protection & Commercial DPO at News UK – 22.10.18
The information provided and the opinions expressed in this document represent the views of the Data Protection Network. They do not constitute legal advice and cannot be construed as offering comprehensive guidance on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or other statutory measures referred to.