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Conservatives 2019: Taking the data message to Manchester

/ September 30th 2019 / Mark Johnson
Data and E-Privacy

The Advertising Association partnered with the Institute for Government for its second fringe event of the party conference season on 30 September on The database state, data-driven companies: where next for personal data? Following on from last week’s event at the Labour Conference, this time it was the turn of the Conservative Party, who have been holding their conference in Manchester.

The packed-out panel event took place right at the heart of the conference zone at the Midland Hotel and was chaired by Gavin Freeguard, Programme Director at the Institute for Government. Also on the panel were Renate Samson, Senior Policy Advisor, Open Data Institute; Antony Walker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, techUK; Adam Micklethwaite, Director, Good Things Foundation and David Henderson, Senior Public Affairs Manager at the Advertising Association.

The panel discussed how government can use data to deliver effective public services and how the public sector can learn from the private sector on data use. The panel also spoke about the risks that both sectors must consider as they hold more information about consumers and members of the public than ever before.

Public understanding was at the heart of the discussion and one year on from its introduction, the panel spoke about the significance of GDPR and the importance of responsible data use.

Speaking on behalf the Advertising Association David Henderson said that a decline in public trust in the advertising industry in recent years had brought the industry together to publish a 5-point action plan. At the heart of this plan to arrest declining levels of trust in advertising is a commitment to ensuring data privacy matters, with supporting the work of the Information Commissioner’s Office being central to this pledge.

David also highlighted the work of Media Smart, the advertising industry’s education programme, whose mission is to ensure young people in the UK can confidently navigate the media they consume including being able to identify, interpret and critically evaluate all forms of advertising. David pointed to the fact that an increasingly online world means it is important to help young people understand digital advertising.

The capacity audience engaged the panel with a thought-provoking Q&A session on the challenges and opportunities ahead for the public and private sectors’ use of data going forward. Thank you to the Institute for Government for co-hosting and to all of the panellists for their contributions.

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