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Cambridge Analytica whistleblower kicks off IP Expo Manchester 2019

IP EXPO Manchester, co-located at Digital Transformation EXPO, opened yesterday with Christopher Wylie, ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower.

Wylie gave visitors the inside track on one of the most notorious data scandals to date and shared his insights on what governments, technology vendors and regulatory bodies should be doing to better protect personal data in the future.

Drawing parallels with other sectors such as aviation and utilities, he questioned why technology was the only industry where the burden was placed on the consumer: “As consumers, we’re not told if you don’t want to get electrocuted, don’t use electricity. There are regulations in place and accountability lies with the provider, not the user. Why isn’t that the same with technology?” 

Wylie went on to reiterate why this was critical in an increasingly connected, smart world, posing questions about the effectiveness of current regulation such as GDPR.

In a data-consent complex world – when people are asked for consent from everyday devices from a toothbrush to a car, the burden of responsibility should not rest with the consumer.

He argued that technology was so fundamental to how we live, work and communicate that there has to be a new cross-governmental, cross-industry approach taken to data regulation to ensure it is fit for purpose and used responsibly.

Commenting on the opening of this year’s event, Gordon Sockett, Senior Content Manager, said: “We aim to push the boundaries every year and we felt that Christopher Wylie personified both the opportunities and the challenges that we face as an industry and within society.

“Data presents so many opportunities to do good, especially as we move into an AI-powered world; but it needs to be the right data and used responsibly.

“We’re proud to have so many of the leading technology brands involved in ensuring this, as exhibitors at the event – from DarkTrace to MicroSoft and Oracle to Nutanix.”

Additional highlights from Day One at IP EXPO Manchester 2019 include:

Chris Testa-O’Neill of Microsoft, demystified the capabilities and ethics of AI, and described the processes for integrating AI technologies into business solutions.

Dr Nicola Millard of BT, discussed the digital reinvention of the workplace and how, in today’s society, employees and customers are connected by communication networks rather than face-to-face.

Steven Bryen, of Amazon Web Services, showcased how companies such as, Netflix and Tinder, are exploiting the latest machine learning technology to improve their products and services for customers.

Paul Fletcher of Sainsbury’s discussed the company’s digital transformation and shared the hard lessons he learned from his and others’ experiences across a number of industries.

Lively panel discussion from Brad Brooks of OneLogin, Ian Pitfield of Netacea and Sophie France of Tessian forecasted the biggest cybersecurity trends and threats for the year ahead.

Day Two of IP EXPO Manchester promises to be another success for attendees and opens its doors at 9:30am Thursday 4th April.

Scam expert, Alexis Conran, known for BBC’s Real Hustle will be headlining the show. He is set to engage the audience with insight into why systems fail, bringing the human factor into technological reliance and the dangers it presents.