Episode 3: Tamzin Evershed

Season 1

Season 1

Episode 3: Tamzin Evershed

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Today Anthony was joined by Sarah Pozner to discuss Privacy in The New World. Sarah is the Global Data Protection Officer at ITV – the much-loved British free-to-air television channel.


  • Sarah describes how working in the media sector has been busier than ever during lock-down
  • Discusses how she’s managed to run 3 major privacy programme projects whilst working remotely
  • Has surprised herself during lock-down with an attribute that we all need in the ‘new world’


Speaker1: [00:00:01] Hi there. My name is Anthony Brown. I’m a director at Clermont Search and I’m very happy to bring you another episode of our Privacy and Data podcast. We’re focused on bringing you thoughts, insight and opinion and maybe a few stories from leading privacy and data professionals from around the world today. I’m delighted to be joined by ITV’s Sarah Pozner.  ITV of course, is the much loved British free to air television network. Hi Sarah, good morning. How are you?

Speaker2: [00:00:39] Thank you. Nice to see.

Speaker1: [00:00:40] Indeed. Indeed. So I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey a little. Sarah, obviously, you joined ITV last year as as ITV’s Global Data Protection Officer. So obviously an incredibly exciting business and no doubt an incredibly busy and diverse role. How’s it all going?

Speaker2: [00:01:06] It’s been it’s been great to have been a fantastic  organisation to be involved with. I started at the beginning of November, so I was lucky to have a few months of actually going into the office and meeting people in person before lookdown happened. It’s an organisation that is actually global in its nature, which most people don’t know, a lot of people associate ITV with the television channels. And we have several ITV channels but we also produce content for other channels and some other broadcasters such as Sky and Netflix. And we have an international business as well. But we have studios in Australia and also in the US and we have a large business in the Netherlands and that includes both production and global distribution. So it’s a broad role.

Speaker1: [00:01:57] Yeah, like you say, I mean, not everyone realises actually that this to be the reach really of ITV around the world. And I guess for you and your team, that brings various interesting challenges as well and having to be on top of various different laws and regulatory guidance in different jurisdictions as well as the UK, of course.

Speaker2: [00:02:22] It is challenging and because ITV has such a breadth of services, it provides it’s almost like a number of different businesses. In any event, you have broadcast, which includes all the marketing and the direct consumer activities and competitions and all of that wealth and applications. And then you have the studios and production which effectively operate completely differently. So the relevant regulation to studios and production is completely different to what’s applicable when you’re building an actual subscription video on demand platform and then you take that and then you start to have to work with other organisations in other jurisdictions its a challenge. Luckily I’ve got some great colleagues abroad and who are very well versed in what’s relevant in their jurisdictions. So the important thing I think, and I found this in working internationally and other organisations, is building that network, ensuring that you have a close working relationship with your colleagues in those jurisdictions, and then working together to to resolve problems,

Speaker1: [00:03:26] I guess ironically for you and everyone, probably in any media organisation lockdown is probably only increased significantly the workload. And, you know, obviously during lockdown, people have been consuming content more than ever. Obviously, as you mentioned, Netflix, I think everyone’s chalked off at least 10 box sets during during lockdown. And so, yes, I can imagine it’s been incredibly challenging for you. And just just you know, I think this series of podcasts is called Privacy in the New World. I don’t want to sort of dwell too much in the last few weeks. Obviously, it’s the elephant in the room if we don’t sort of mention it, but just in general. So what do you think has been the biggest sort of privacy challenges for organisations really across the board over the last few weeks?

Speaker2: [00:04:24] I think for all organisations outside of the fact that it is a media organisation is with covid, it brings a whole new work stream of data that needs to be collected in order to protect its employees or potentially its clients against spread of the virus. And how do we do business differently now that we can no longer do it, as we would have done ordinarily? And that inevitably includes collecting large amounts of personal data that often include medical data or medical data about people that are living with and temperature testing, covid infection, virus testing. So you end up doing lots of drafting, a lot of drafting, of a lot of exploring, which how the regulation applies in the event of a pandemic, obviously there’s high standards related to the collection of personal data, or if it tells me that suddenly I personally have been in a position where you’re having to consider, well, this is actually a public health, public health and public interest. So which exemptions apply? How do they apply and how do we ensure that we can demonstrate a defensible position when there is no absolute obviously there’s no precedents to demonstrate how you should approach that. And then, of course, from my personal perspective, I’m new to the business, mainly being in place a few months and trying to build a team, build a function and change culture and have three different and significant group levels. Framework programmes I’m trying to run, which when you’re trying to do that, you’re trying to change culture. But you are only able to do that over a video conference. That’s really been my biggest challenge.

Speaker1: [00:06:10] Yeah, I can imagine. And I think you’re not alone with that. And, you know, I do feel at least with yourself obvioulsy joined towards the end of last year, you had the benefit of being in situ in the offices and meeting the team of building some camaraderie, etc  with with the team. But obviously, as you know there’s many people, leaders like yourself and team members who have joined companies during lockdown, it’s been incredibly challenging for people, really.

Speaker2: [00:06:37] And I’ve had a lot of people join my team actually during this lockdown period. That’s been really interesting to see how real board and how and make sure that they’re properly plugged in. How do you introduce them to other stakeholders within the organisation and get them to have a feel for what ITV is like and what needs to be done again when they’re sitting in their kitchen at home?

Speaker1: [00:07:00] Yes, indeed. Indeed. I was saying to somebody the other day, actually, its going to be very interesting, you know, as and when people start returning to the offices and obviously, as we know, probably the way people work has changed forever. I suspect but it’s going to be interesting people. People historically would work from home on a Friday, and I wonder if in the future people want to be the office on a Friday so they can actually socialise with their team after work, as if, you know, historical. So it’s going to be very, very interesting for us all to see how things pan out. But I think it’s proven that we’re a resourceful bunch and people have muddled their way through at times, but everyone’s adapted and yeah, hopefully better times and easier times ahead. So I think just out of interest and obviously you’re really a consumer facing business. What’s your sense or opinion really on on the general public’s perception of privacy during lockdown. So, for example, as we know, people have been increasingly using apps like Zoom and House Party and various other tools to communicate. And obviously, as we know, there’s been scenarios and, you know, sort of some challenges with the security around some of them, perhaps we should say. How do you think in general this is heighten the public’s awareness of privacy and how they should be more focused on keeping their data safe?

Speaker2: [00:08:36] I think suddenly there’s a necessity for everyone to rely on technology, such as Zoom whereas people may never have touched it. And then there’s a lot of press recently about the various security incidents. So there are certainly a fair amount of awareness, I think, from a consumer perspective. But during lockdown, I’ve been working a lot with our production teams and our studios about creating content in lockdown, which again means that they as as an industry are relying on technology that they wouldn’t have done before. But I think it’s a balance, isn’t it? There’s an urgency to get stuff done to make sure they continue to produce high quality content, which means they need new tools. And sometimes there’s just not the time to consider. Actually, there might be privacy implications with how they’re using that technology. So that’s one of the things that we’ve been focusing on, is trying to find a way and introduce processes that we can get these tools into the business as quickly as possible in a way that’s safe and ensure that we’re producing sufficient guidance so that they know what those sort of caveats might be in terms of any security or privacy loopholes that that might need to be addressed.

Speaker1: [00:09:49] Yeah, I mean, the more I hear you talk, it’s pretty clear you’ve got an enormous but very exciting job on your hands and crucial really as well to people like myself or any of us who consume ITV’s content and regularly watch, you know, the channels. So when you break it all down. The breadth of work is pretty incredible. So I can imagine you’ve been very, very busy, as you said, just moving forward Sarah what do you think is probably the biggest privacy challenge moving forward for businesses? Perhaps let’s just restrict this to the U.K. You know, what do you see what’s on the horizon?

Speaker2: [00:10:34] I think e-Privacy and how that is going to land will make a significant difference, especially to the marketing world, suddenly if we lose the right to obtain consent, we could lose significant amounts of multiple data base. And it still hasn’t been that it keeps changing. There’s a lot more focus as well on protecting children’s data. And I think a lot of organisations who are not targeting children may not even be aware when they’re processing children’s data. So there’s a heightened sense of responsibility to ensure that they are protecting children’s data And GDPR we’re still not really sure how that settling was sort of keeping an eye on the various fines that are being issued across Europe by the different regulators, but there’s still a concern about interpretation and actually how the regulators are going to interpret things and how far it should and shouldn’t be going. And everyone still in that kind of period of, well, we don’t really know. So I’m finding the most important thing for any organisation is to ensure that you’ve got an appropriate set up for accountability so that you’re documenting things so that all decisions you take are defensible and you can demonstrate that you always got the consumer at the forefront of your mind. I think that’s the best you can do. But that is in itself when you put a busy organisation trying to actually deliver their products or services that have to then worry about how we can demonstrate that we’ve considered privacy and fulfilled privacy by design into our programmes and product development is passed.

Speaker1: [00:12:13] Yeah, I can imagine. So just just finally, really just a bit of fun. Is there anything in particular that you’ve learned about yourself during lockdown, all those hours at home.

Speaker2: [00:12:29] I would say it’s taught me to have to be patient. I’m an example, I think ordinarily. I’m perhaps trying to push things forward more quickly and and. It’s certainly been a lesson in that respect, it’s just sometimes that period of reflection is as productive as when you just sort of, you know, frantically running around from meeting to meeting you can come up with some some of the best work during those quiet periods.

Speaker1: [00:13:10] Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s something we’ve all had to learn. And some people are better than others being patient, I’m certainly not particularly patient. But, you know, already, you know, just simply going to the local shops or anything, you’ve got to build in X amount of time now, haven’t you? But again, I think we’re all we’ve all adapted and we’re all looking forward and and hopefully, you know, things are going to continue on this positive train. And Sarah, thank you so much for your time and insight. It’s been really, really interesting and particularly as you work at such a loved British institution, really as as ITV is so interesting and clearly they are in very, very, safe hands with you as Global DPO So many thanks. And so in terms of what’s next, we’ll have further podcasts in the pipe. But thank you for listening and we look forward to seeing you all very soon. Thanks again, Sarah.

Speaker2: [00:14:17] Bye bye now.

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