Tell us about your role
I’m currently a Privacy Adviser in TfL’s Privacy and Data Protection team. I’ve always worked in information and records management roles, with over 6 years now being spent at TfL. My Dad and Grandad both worked for London Transport and so a move to Transport for London for me was loved by my family! My previous jobs served me well to then make a move into my current role in 2017. I joined about 6 months before the GDPR came into force – so to say I joined the team at an exceptionally busy time is an understatement!
Along with my colleagues, the Privacy team is here to help guide TfL on how they should work with all the personal data that we need to use daily. This is data which relates to both our customers and staff. As a team we need to ensure that this data is being used and looked after in a way that is compliant with the law, meets our customers’ expectations and aligns with TfL’s aims and objectives.
Personal data is used by a range of TfL departments, which means we get involved with such a variety of projects (spoiler alert – variety is one of my favourite things about what I do!). One day I might be advising on the purchase of a new system to hold our customer correspondence and then next I’m working with Digital to implement a cookie consent management tool on our website! I do a lot of work with our Technology and Data directorate, which sees me working with Digital. For example, we were involved in the launch of the TfL Go app from an early stage. Developing and releasing an app to the public is a big undertaking, but one which has many privacy related elements to assess. Getting us involved early is essential – we need to make sure that when assessment of the key privacy considerations takes place it can have a real impact on key project decisions. The TfL Go app is a positive addition to TfL’s suite of apps and to have been given an early insight into its development was a privilege.
Why is your role important to TfL?
Whether running the tube, operating our Dial-a-Ride service or managing our streets (amongst many other things!), TfL can’t operate without customers, and our staff, giving us their personal data. But we need them to trust that we will look after it. They need to know that we will keep this data relevant, accurate and up-to-date; that we will only process it in accordance with their rights; that we will be transparent about what we are doing; and we will keep it secure and not hold on to it when we no longer need it.
I help TfL build this trust by navigating through our legal obligations and interpreting these for each project or piece of work I’m advising on.
TfL is an immense organisation that does a lot of things you might not realise it does, and because so much of it involves working with personal data, I get to appreciate that variety firsthand..
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
I’ve got two favourites!
TfL is an immense organisation that does a lot of things you might not realise it does, and because so much of it involves working with personal data, I get to appreciate that variety firsthand. The Privacy team is small, so we all get to work with different departments, on different projects, working with different types of personal data on a regular basis. The core data protection obligations remain constant, but the variety adds a great deal of interest to my role.
And my second favourite – colleagues! I’m lucky to work with people in the Privacy team that are always happy to share experiences and chat through whatever issues come up. And then colleagues from the departments I advise are usually always open to understanding their privacy obligations. Digital especially have been so engaged with what privacy means for them and the projects they are working on.
What’s one thing you would like our customers to know about TfL?