Information Commissioner, UK Information Commissioner’s Office
Best-Selling Author of The Stranger in the Woods and True Story
Elizabeth Denham was appointed UK Information Commissioner in July 2016, having previously held the position of Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada and Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
She has set out a commitment to increase the trust people have in what happens to their personal data. Denham oversaw the issuing of the ICO’s largest fine, a penalty of £400,000 to TalkTalk after the telecoms company failed to properly protect customer data from a cyber attack. She has also overseen the conclusion of the ICO’s investigation into charities’ fundraising activities and a series of fines for companies behind nuisance marketing.
In 2011, Ms Denham was honoured as a UBC distinguished alumni for her pioneering work in archives and leadership in the field of access and privacy. In 2013, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her service as an Officer of the Legislature of British Columbia, Canada.
In 2017, she was recognised as being one of the three most influential people in data-driven business in the annual DataIQ 100 list. She was honoured to accept the appointment of visiting professor in University College London’s Department of Information Studies.
Michael Finkel has reported from more than 50 countries across six continents, covering topics ranging from the world’s last hunter-gatherer tribes to conflicts in Afghanistan and Israel to the international black market in human organs. He is the author of True Story, a book about his strange friendship with a murderer. True Story has recently been made into a major motion picture, produced by Brad Pitt and starring Jonah Hill and James Franco.
In the line of reportorial duty, Finkel has skied off the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, set sail on a Haitian refugee boat, joined a cult in Colorado, been in a car that was run over by a tank in Afghanistan, climbed into an active volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and crossed the Sahara Desert on the back of an open truck. His work has appeared in National Geographic, GQ, The Atlantic, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times Magazine.
Sarah Gold is a designer interested in privacy, security and networks in the public domain. She creates interventions that show how technology can respect more of our rights.
Winning many awards, including last year’s NESTA New Radical, Forbes ‘30 under 30’ and a Creative Conscience Gold prize, she founded IF, where she works as CEO. IF works with a variety of clients including DeepMind, Consumers International and the Co-op. Previously Sarah co-founded WikiHouse Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, sits on the board for Tech for Good and as a practitioner for the Research Institute in the Science of Cyber Security.