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As a business journalist who’s hopped around a bit, I can tell you that every industry has its clichés. In physical security, it was a constant refrain around the “convergence” of physical and information security. To the point that a company actually named itself Convergint. In laserscanning, you couldn’t have a conversation for five minutes without hearing about “point clouds.” For readers of WorkBoat Magazine, any mention of the Jones Act must at some point make their eyes cross.

Here in privacy, it’s actually sort of cool to see these same kind of clichés developing. Hey, we’re entering our industry adolescence! Soon, we’ll have “industry lions” and “seminal moments” all over the place!

Oh, is this situation kind of like the way Target sent pregnancy-related ads to that teenager? Is it kind of “creepy”? Are we perhaps talking about going “beyond compliance”? Is the GDPR the single biggest piece of privacy legislation in decades?

Who knew!

Bingo tile by Joe Jerome

Bingo tile by Joe Jerome

Do you have an ear for these kinds of clichés? Then the NAI’s Grant Nelson, CIPP/US, and CDT’s Joe Jerome, CIPP/US, have something for you. Just in time for the IAPP’s Global Privacy Summit, Nelson and Jerome have launched, where you can grab a virtual card and cross off clichés and tropes as you sit in break-out sessions and keynote presentations this coming week.

“The main page is just going to have a list of panels you might be attending,” said Nelson, who did the site’s coding. “And if you tap any of those, you’ll find a bingo board populated with things that might come up via the people on stage. Then you tap it to say you heard it.”

Each board will have at least one commonality: “Our free space will be the EU stars,” said Jerome, who provided the sketches for each of the squares, “since I figure the GDPR will be mentioned in every single session at the Summit.” 

And while it’s a playful idea, that doesn’t mean to suggest Nelson and Jerome don’t take privacy seriously. “The idea is that people go to conferences sometimes to hear talks, sometimes to network, sometimes to learn,” said Nelson, “but even when you’re watching Netflix, you want something to do simultaneously. It’s just something to do with your hands,” and it may even help some people listen more attentively. There’s good educational research to show listening with a purpose can help people get more out of a presentation.  

And the bingo board is, of course, mobile optimized. So, instead of checking Facebook halfway through a session, you can keep your mind on privacy. Just try not to yell “bingo!” at an inappropriate moment. 

What to do if you actually do hit bingo? Go ahead and tweet Nelson and Jerome your board at @PrivacyBingo with a mention of what session you're in. They'll retweet you and their timeline will serve as a place to claim victory. It's all in good fun, but that doesn't mean you can't declare yourself a winner.


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