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GDPR overkill vs informed consent as the bare minimum

November 6, 2018

I was at a kind of reunion type event and one of my old friends greeted me in the pub with the opinion that my approach to GDPR was overkill.

I can see what he means.  To the casual observer I’ve probably destroyed my mailing list* and… well that’s about all they’ve seen me do.

I’ve been thinking on that one, and thought I’d make a couple of observations.

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Conspicuous consumption and the researcher

October 8, 2018

WatchOK this one is a bit awkward but it is a thing I have to think about all the time in my line of work so I’m just going to spit it out.

I’ve had a professionally paid job now for 16 years and I’m married to one of those ambitious private sector types.  We’re comfortably off.  And because we’re comfortably off I have a few nice things.  Most notably for this blog post, I have a Tag Heuer watch and a cupboard-full of nice handbags.  My current work-bag is a Michael Kors.

These are things I have to think about when I’m working in the charity sector as I do.  I have to think carefully about what I carry with me.  No, not “don’t look too fancy or they’ll realise they are paying me too much” or “help help the poor people might steal my stuff” but more… I don’t want to be a dick.

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Link: Evaluation of the Stirling Heritage Arts Award project

October 2, 2018

If you get a minute, why not check out my evaluation of the Stirling Heritage Arts Award project, available on the See Think Make website.

Stirling Heritage Arts Award was a year-long project delivered by See Think Make, in partnership with Scran.  Structured around the Silver Arts Award, young people aged 15+ used Stirling’s heritage and a programme of Partner-led workshops an inspiration for their own arts practice and ultimately to co-design a heritage trail through Stirling.

I’m always so pleased when my clients decide to publicly circulate their evaluations, as it demonstrates a genuine commitment to learning and knowledge exchange.

GDPR and spam

September 19, 2018
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Ahhhhhhh, do you remember when the new GDPR regulations came in earlier this year?

Do you remember when squillions of businesses desperately emailed you about their mailing lists in the week before the new rules came in?

Do you remember how you decided to use this as an opportunity to clear up your inbox?

Do you remember how ignoring them meant they kept on at you and you got email after email from the same business spamming you endlessly about something you didn’t care about?

And then do you remember how you saw no discernible change to the amount of crap you were still receiving?

God that was annoying, wasn’t it?

GDPR is supposed to protect us, the consumer, from all of this nonsense.  Unfortunately (from the consumer point of view) all that has happened is that we’ve ended up unsubscribing-by-default from the legit companies that wanted to do the right thing, and we’re still being merrily spammed by the dodgy ones that couldn’t care less.

Well there’s more to it than that of course (and it’s not all bad).

But yeah.  That bit is really annoying.

Huh.

Using research techniques to get some sense out of my four-year-old

August 30, 2018

My son is now 4 years old. Have you ever tried to get any sense out of a four year old?  Mine just wants to talk about ninjas.  But lately now we’re not together all the time I wonder about his day.  You know, what he had for lunch, who he played with at nursery, what they did.  Mysterious secret stuff like that.  But nah, a four year old talks about what a four year old wants to talk about.  So I’ve been feeling pretty pleased with myself that I’ve thought to try one of my research ‘tricks of the trade’ on him, and that it works!  Hurray!

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Read my guest blog: Piloting a more meaningful qnaire

August 15, 2018

Here’s a link to my third guest blog on the Scottish Recovery Network website, writing about some of my ongoing work.

I’m evaluating SRN’s Write to Recovery project which is a national eight week programme of writing workshops focused on the promotion of self-management for people experiencing emotional difficulties or mental ill-health.

I’m excited about this element of the project as I’ve been allowed the freedom and blank slate to come up with something quite innovative.  Instead of simply allowing our funding application and strategic project aims to guide our evaluation (which would be the standard way of doing things), we invite the participants to evaluate the progress they have made against their own personal aims to see whether they got what they hoped to get out of attending Write to Recovery.  And I’ve come up with a way to quantify this on a potentially large scale.  I’ve no idea if this is a unique approach, but I’ve not seen anyone else do it.

Crucially, this participant-centric approach is in-keeping with the ethos of personal recovery and self management and consequently the findings should be more meaningful this way.

Check out this link to find out more.

Getting GDPR answers (phew!) and how I’m dealing with special category data

May 7, 2018

Well I have to say I’m extremely grateful to my professional body the Market Research Society who have proved the worth of their annual fee by providing me with a whole host of industry-specific GDPR advice.  Thanks MRS. I’ve read a tonne of articles and I’ve attended a webinar and a roadshow session.  I have asked questions.

The main thing I’ve taken from these is that if you comply with the MRS Code of Conduct you are 80% there with GDPR.  The remaining 20% is documentation internally and what you tell the data subjects.  Good.  That’s pretty much what I thought.  Phew.

I was, and still am, concerned about the ‘special category data’ given that barely a working day goes by without someone telling me about their personal circumstances, both solicited and unsolicited.

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