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The world of data protection 

ATTENDING Moore Stephens Maritime London Networking Event enlightened me to the world of data protection.

The event included a presentation by Moore Stephens associate director Christopher Beveridge, who discussed the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. 

As someone who at least briefly looks over terms and conditions, rather than completely ignores them, and is on a lot of social media, I’m aware how important data protection is. There are so many companies out there holding my personal information, it’s almost shocking how little time I spend worrying about how that information is used.

Although an administrative pain, the GDPR aims to give citizens control of their personal data — power to the people, like true democracy. But getting shipping in shape for this is a serious task.

From dealing with data portability requests to undertaking privacy impact assessments on any new systems, the shipping industry needs to review and establish data privacy within GDPR by May 2018.

Diversity in the industry

Beyond the substance of the presentation itself and the negative impacts of failure to comply, I continue to be astounded by how few women I meet in the industry. Most at this event, only a few in the first instance, crowded around a table eating together and discussing, among other topics, why was there such a lack of female representation within shipping.

As an industry that is not heavily advertised to young people, telling friends I was doing a maritime journalism internship was met with “What’s maritime journalism?”, “You’ll be writing about the sea … and ships?” and “Oh, like the International Maritime Organization?”

These questions would have risen regardless of my gender, but it remains that there is a gap and why is something I shall be looking into.

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