Press Release:

ODPA launches Project Bijou initiative to create social change

Published: 5 May 2021

To mark the 3rd anniversary of the introduction of The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017, the ODPA is launching a new social initiative designed to encourage a cultural shift around how personal data is treated and to change human behaviour for the better.

The initiative, called Project Bijou, will be launched during a week-long online conference that will see a broad range of contributors from around the world, together with those from our Bailiwick, come together to share stories, knowledge and experiences related to using data in an ethical way that benefits everyone.

The launch week runs from 24-28 May, with each day focusing on a different theme, including: the effects of data harms; the need for better engagement; what drives behavioural change; the role culture plays in data and the benefits of looking after data well. The initiative was originally due to be held on-Island but due to Covid is being run virtually.

Emma Martins, the Bailiwick’s Data Protection Commissioner, said:

‘We are delighted that Project Bijou will launch as a week-long event as it presents an exciting opportunity for local contributors to share their experiences alongside internationally recognisable names from the world of data to the audience.
‘We have a rich array of content which will explore ethics, psychology, governance, culture, human behaviour, human connection and innovation during the five days. The launch week is just the beginning of the project and ultimately, our aim is to ensure there is a cultural shift in society in terms of attitudes to people’s data. This shift comes from individuals, business and government understanding the important role they all play and we hope this social initiative will help to change behaviour, shift culture and reduce harm. Our world is increasingly shaped by data; embedding ethics and values into that world for ourselves and our community allows us to harness the very real opportunities presented whilst avoiding the potential harms.’

Speakers include a Professor of Justice Systems at the University of Oxford, a Non-Executive Director of the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, a Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School and the President of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership. Local contributors comprise Richard Thomas, Emma Martins, Chris Docksey and Simon Entwisle of the ODPA along with representatives from the States of Guernsey, local business groups and companies.

Mrs Martins added:

‘We want Project Bijou to encourage understanding and positive engagement with data protection at a cultural level to broaden the narrative beyond a tick-box approach. It is also designed to create a positive shift in approach within regulated organisations. We want to support a culture of compliance because there is an understanding of how that benefits us all, rather than because of a fear of sanction for non-compliance.’

Attendees to the launch week are not required to pre-register, rather they can tune into specific topics of interest over the course of the week, and all content will remain available online post-launch. Details will be published on the ODPA website during the week of 24-28 May.