Breakfast News – Up close and personal


GTI’s latest Breakfast News event took place at a busy Anthologist, on the subject of ‘Up close and personal’, it focussed on personal data and the GDPR legislation that came into effect on 25 May.

This was the second of four Breakfast News events of 2018, in association with ISE and sponsored by Blackbridge.   After breakfast was served and enjoyed, the audience were treated to a welcome from Simon Rogers, director at GTI Media, who delivered an introduction to TargetJobs’ smart emails.

Following on from Simon was an economic update from Declan Curry, Broadcaster, Business and economics journalist. On the topic of GDPR, Declan jokingly suggested that he’d personally welcome it as an annual event. He went on to speak about Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney’s estimation that the cost of Brexit currently amounts to £900 per household in the UK, but warned this figure was an estimate based on predictions for growth made prior to the referendum against the slow growth since.

Vanessa Soames, graduate recruitment director, Police Now & Board Director, Institute of Student Employers (ISE) then gave an employer’s perspective on personal data. Through the work that Police Now undertake to fast track grads into the police force with a shortened training period, they are required to vet and process personal data. This personal data can range from receiving interesting photos of tattoos of the applicant to their family details, and highlights the immense scope of background checks required for police applications. .

Andrew Baird, director of consulting at Blackbridge Communications, took the audience on a journey into the future. Extrapolating on the personalised advertising predicted in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, he told the story of the US retailer Target. Target were able to look at their customer data and by using algorithms were able to identify those customers that were pregnant and in their second trimester. Taking this one step further, they were able to identify other female customers who were also purchasing the same items and deduce they too were pregnant. With a degree of accuracy, they could predict a due date and also make contact with those customers and suggest items they may wish to purchase at latter stages of their pregnancy. The women who received these messages but had not explicitly told Target that they were indeed pregnant, tended not to react positively. Target therefore changed strategy and continued to use the data in the same manner, but interspersed these advertisements with suggestions that pregnant women would be very unlikely to purchase – this made Target appear to be less creepy.

Andrew went on to link this with graduate recruitment with a warning that you can interact with students via social media as long as you’re bringing something to the party. Based on research undertaken in conjunction with Trendence, students wouldn’t necessarily mind recruiters contacting them on certain social media to offer a job, but would be less welcoming of a recruiter using their online presence to build up a picture of them.  The accompanying slides made for fascinating reading, and delivers interesting insights into graduates’ perceptions of Recruiters using social media, and in particular LinkedIn, to research perspective employees.

Thursday’s key note speaker was Dave King, chief executive of Digitalis Reputation, who returned after eight years to Breakfast News (the first returning key note speaker to the series of events). One service Digitalis Reputation offer is to trawl the deep web for individuals’ social media histories. For example if a new employee is recruited, then Digitalis Reputation would be able to research any “likes”, or posts that may cause embarrassment from the potential candidate and indeed their family – before that same tweet from eight years ago is found by the national press. Dave warned the audience to be extremely careful about information that they post online, as it can easily be used and manipulated by criminals including phishing scammers and paedophiles. Be wary of what your children, spouse, family and friends post to the internet – in that order. 

The next Breakfast News will be on the 27th September. You can full the full slides from the morning’s presentations here

Thursday, 31 May 2018

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Breakfast News – Up close and personal