Today on The GDPR Series podcast, we have a bit of a different guest. My challenge to digital marketing consultant and LinkedIn trainer, Louise Bunyan of SmartFox, was to join me in discussing data protection even though she kept insisting it wasn’t really in her sphere of influence, so to speak. But I knew from many previous work-related discussions that it most definitely was!

We invite you to listen to our chat on the challenges job seekers and employees face in a digital world, curating their identities online via LinkedIn especially while looking for opportunities for growth. As it turns out, Louise is in fact a privacy and data protection champion who has helped more than a few people ‘save face’ on LinkedIn. And as a writer and storyteller, Louise entertains with some great stories throughout our chat!

Louise Bunyan is the enthusiastic and very thoughtful lady behind SmartFox, offering digital marketing consultancy and social media training. However, she is perhaps most well known as one of (if not the!) ‘Ireland’s leading LinkedIn experts’, also acquiring the nicknames the LinkedIn Legend and the LinkedIn Queen. Louise offers a wide range of specialised LinkedIn training services from one-on-one online sessions, in-house on-site corporate training on LinkedIn for Sales, regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and delivers talks to students on how to use LinkedIn for jobseeking.

And Louise had some very exciting news to share with us – an exclusive announcement of her new venture which is her just-launched automated online training courses that will teach you how to become a smarter LinkedIn jobseeker with easy and expert step-by-step videos and tasks.

A message from Louise: I’ve created a 50% discount code for everyone across both courses. People just have to go to, select their course, and enter the coupon code ‘upskillme‘ in the ‘coupon code’ box at the end and click redeem. At the moment, there is no expiry date but I think I might let it run until the end of April or see what happens.

Thanks, Louise!

If you could do with some savvy LinkedIn advice or need to boost your profile because you’re jobseeking, contact Louise through her site or find her on LinkedIn! It takes a smart fox to know a smart fox.
Contact on Site:
Louise on LinkedIn:
Online Training:


Philipa Farley:  Hi, and welcome to our podcast called the GDPR Series, where we discuss data protection, privacy and cyber security matters that ordinary people in everyday businesses face. We have a series of really interesting and lovely guests, and we hope you enjoy listening.  Thank you, Louise, so much for joining us. Louise is from SmartFox. We’re going to have a short chat about GDPR in the context of a real business, okay? Not from the perspective of, you know, the GDPR consultants that you would have seen kind of in other videos or GDPR service providers. Louise is a fantastic personality in Cork and online. Louise is very involved in Network Cork, besides promoting her own services, LinkedIn services online. And, I’d just like to say personally Louise, like, I love following you because you do offer tips and advice to people. And, it’s just like these lovely tidbits that you can get from your feed, that are so helpful. So thank you for that. I’ll hand it over to you to introduce yourself there, while I share the screen with your site up.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, no problem. So hi, everyone, and thanks, Philipa, for that lovely introduction. So my name is Louise Bunyan, and I’m a freelance digital marketing consultant, and also a social media trainer. But, I suppose, I would be most well known for being a LinkedIn specialist. So a few different elements to LinkedIn. So the first one is, I go in-house into companies and I train up sales teams and business development teams, and how to use LinkedIn as a sales tool. But also we look at, like, the personal profiles, we look at company pages, and I kind of cover the entire A to Z. And then the other element then, is I work with job seekers and job changers and I help to, kind of like, overhaul their LinkedIn profiles. To build that and, you know, personal brand. But also, if they’re full time employed and they’re thinking about changing jobs, you know how we kind of keep things under the radar a little bit, like changes that we’re making on our profiles, but also that whole job section on LinkedIn. And, you know, how to really kind of manipulate all the free elements. And then a new part of the business that I started quietly kind of piloting last year late last year is online: one to one training, which is absolutely fantastic, and I love it. So, I work with entrepreneurs, sales, people, like online one to one. But then I also work with again, the job seekers job changers, and they love it, because it’s confidential, courtesy of their own home, they don’t need to drive and they get me for an hour, like one to one. And then – very exciting – which I’m going to be piloting shortly. And, I’m kind of working with the beta group, which is my online course. So I’m starting with LinkedIn for job seekers. So with everything that I would do kind of in a workshop, and but split into short videos, and so again, no matter where you are in the world, you can watch these videos, everything I do anyway, in workshops. And, you can, kind of, learn at your own pace at your own time. So I’m really excited about that. You know, it is a big project, but it has been in the pipeline known for a long time. So we’re kind of…

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, but it’s quality, real quality, you know, it’s not just a rush job. And it’s not just a fast money making scheme. Like, I think I’ve said to you a couple of times before, this notion of passive income is a bit of a myth because, like, the absolute immense amount of work that goes into putting something like this together in an excellent way. You know, people don’t see that side of it.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, you know that.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, my keyboard, my keyboard, is ruined forever, from typing out audit questions and answers now. Yeah, I want to say one thing before I go back to the privacy side of things. And that is to say, like, most people would know that we came from South Africa, and there are people sort of coming over in a regular stream, you know, and moving around the world, because that’s life today. You know, people come and go in different places. And I would say that, you know, with somebody like you, you have the local expertise and the local knowledge. And, where LinkedIn is a global platform, I think one aspect that you bring to services when you work one on one with people, is that localisation of their profiles to meet the expectations of the people receiving the information. I know that’s a roundabout way of saying something probably quite simple, but when, you know, when you move to a different country, you don’t really know what the business culture is. So, you really bring that as value to the table, you know, understanding the business culture, and understanding the terminology that people would want to see or hear. You know, and I think that’s a very valuable part of what you do. So, this course online is just a really amazing resource for people who are coming into Ireland.

Louise Bunyan:  Ah, thank you. Do you know? It’s funny. I remember in one of my workshops – it was like just an open workshop – that I ran, with like 10 people from all different types of businesses and there was a guy he was the Sales Director. And he was English, but they had been living here for about maybe two years. And in the training, I was saying that like, yes, LinkedIn is amazing, but you also have to get out there, you have to shake hands, you have to network And then, in Ireland, you just don’t know who knows who and like I’ve had brothers referring their sisters, onto me. And, this guy, he just kind of started laughing. And he said, Yeah, and he goes, I was trying to get into this company for about like, six, seven months. And he said, my little kid, go to GA training, and he was at one of the training sessions, and he just got talking to one of the other dads. And he Yeah, they just had a chat and he said, What to do yourself because I’m the Sales Director for this company. ” And this guy kind of worked in  a similar industry, and the Sales Director said: “Yeah, look, I’m trying to get, like, a contact. I’m trying to get an introduction to like ABCD limited.” The other guy started laughing, and said, “Yeah, look, leave it with me. I know somebody who knows somebody”. And then, the next thing, he got a message the next week going: Here’s the name here’s the phone number, he will give you like 15 minutes. Yeah, and this English Sales Director is saying like, Ireland is a very different landscape to the UK.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah. And personally, you’ve had an impact on me, Louise, in that regard. And I’m quite happy to say it, because my comfort zone is sort of behind the screen.Yeah, it’s very uncomfortable for me to go out and actually make that effort. That’s not the problem. It’s to go into a group of people and say, “Hey, this is me, this is what I do.” Because I’m so used to listening to people, especially in my work, that I forget that it’s so important to get out and tell people what I do, because it can help them. Exactly like what you’re doing now. You know, we need to get that message out and say this, and this is what I do, I can make your life easier. I can enrich it, and I can make it far better.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, yeah. Yeah, especially with the line of work you do, which we know we’ll get on to shortly but, it’s invaluable. And it’s, in essence, that you’re an expert in what you do, and it’s a necessary service and like the peace of mind that you give that, you know, we’re going to do things properly. Like when it comes to data like you can, you know, you can read old stuff online and think you have an idea. But there’s a huge gap. There’s a huge difference there.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, same, same same on your side. So getting right back into that you were talking about one point specifically before I get to the question. And this is so, it’s so important, because it’s so real. Now, when I asked you, if we could make the video, I said to you, I think that there’s a disconnect with the language that I use online. It’s very technical, where people are not quite connecting with the message that needs to go out. So, thank you very much for helping me get that message out. Because, you actually just have done a huge part of it, and you haven’t realised. You said when you started, you said you help people fix up their profiles for job seeking purposes in a way that is kind of under the radar. And we all know somebody, quite a few people who have just like, kind of, blundered their way through this. Yeah. And it’s been so damaging to their career. And it could have been very delicately handled. And so that, getting back to my technical side, we would say employees and job seekers are a vulnerable group of data subjects.

Louise Bunyan:  Okay.

Philipa Farley:  And immediately, here, in this example, we can see exactly why they are vulnerable. They’re considered to be a vulnerable group of data subjects, because their entire life, their private lives, their home life, their family, everything gets affected if they make one mistake, or something comes out publicly that shouldn’t come out. And, you know, it has a huge impact on their life. So, when we’re doing our data protection work, like CV-related stuff, you know, and job yeah, application processes, you know, HR in general, we’re acutely aware of, you know, the separation between public and private space. And, what should come into the workplace, what shouldn’t, you know, when someone is going through something personal – how is it handled in the workplace? Where’s the confidentiality? You know, all of that kind of thing. So, you know, you’re saying, you’re using a technical platform, LinkedIn, somebody is using that to, to get ahead, get and go to the next place, change their career, do whatever. Yeah, it’s their thing. Yeah. You know, and you’re saying, you’re helping them keep the confidentiality there. You know, can you just maybe speak on that for a short while, okay?

Louise Bunyan:  No problem. And so, you know, before I train anybody, like before I go into a company, or before we’re going one on one. Like, there’s this very comprehensive form, that somebody has to fill out. And, I always ask them, like the top three things you want to get out of this. And it’s really interesting when I go in-house, because what I find is, kind of like, the more Senior you go, the more like responsibility, and the more senior you are, I seem to find that people – those types of people – they might be on Facebook or they might not they, they’re not really that keen on Facebook. They’re definitely not on Twitter. And they think that they’d just get trolled, and that their lives would just be over if they go on Twitter. And they use WhatsApp, and they might be on Instagram, depending, but then LinkedIn is the big exception. Because they know that they need to be on LinkedIn, because you know, it’s the professional platform, but yet, they’re bringing that social media fear, basically, they’re bringing the Twitter fear onto LinkedIn. And so, I suppose, you know, I ask them like the top three things that they want to get out of us. A lot of the time, Philipa, it’s just confidence. You know, it’s just a very broad general statement going “I want to know the do’s and the don’ts” which I have a bit of an issue with – I don’t think LinkedIn is black and white, and I don’t want to put fear into anybody going: “Do this, don’t do this.” But also, it’s very, very general statements, like, and yeah: “I just want to feel more confident using the platform.” So that brings me then into the actual training. And one of the very first things that I do, and I’ve learned, the hard way to do this, very first is privacy settings. And so we go into the privacy settings and I show them how to turn off the share network changes. So you know, if you change your job title, or if you add a new job title, we turn that off, because if, when you’re messing around with your job title, we don’t want that hearing on LinkedIn feed. It does that automatic “Congratulations!”

Philipa Farley:  Oh, wow. Yeah. It’s a huge task.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, exactly, however, imagine, you do get a harder and an internal promotion, or you do change jobs. You know, you pass your probation and you’re very happy there, then I show them how to use it, almost like a press release, or a broadcast. But, the difference there is that they’re in control. And, they know the technical implications of what’s going to happen, if we flick the button over to on, we make a job change, and we hit these. And some of them, you know, they do follow up or, some of them may have gotten a new job title in the past six months, a hard earned promotion. And they say, you know what, now I’m going to go in there and I’m going to make my changes, I’m going to turn on that button and turn my whole network like practically, and I go “Fair play, fair enough.” Then there’s other elements and you know, like you have a public profile on LinkedIn?

Philipa Farley:  Yes, yeah.

Louise Bunyan:  So you have your full profile. But if I find you on Google, it’s kind of like a privacy kind of wall, so you can open that up as much as you want, or you can lock down as much as you want. And actually, that’s quite interesting because a lot of people may not have their photograph on that. But a lot of salespeople, the business development team, are like, “Oh my god, I didn’t realise that, like, if you land on my profile and we’re not connected, you can’t see my picture.” So again, I leave that totally up to them, I just say, “It’s up to you. It’s your internal temperature.” You know, and I don’t make anybody put stuff out there that they don’t want to do. And so, I suppose, that that’s very important to basically just setting that tone at the start and just saying: this is how you control your profile; this is how you open it up and, this is how you close it down as much as you want.

Philipa Farley:  But you just said something there, Louise, again, and I’ll say it again, you said about realising that you’re speaking the same language as me. You said, it’s up to your internal temperature. What do you want to show people? And I absolutely respect how privacy runs like, as a thread, through your business. And, you’re showing them how to protect their data.  So like, the privacy and data protection people would have this sort of constant conflict of privacy versus data protection. Where does one end? Where does one begin? Some people say it’s cut and dried, black and white, privacy’s this side, data protections that side. But, you know, in this example here, it’s a beautiful example of they are private people, they want to protect their privacy. So, the data protection tools are there to help them protect it. Yeah.

Louise Bunyan:  And then, you might have like some salespeople, some business development people, you know, very, like big outgoing personalities, and they’re like, yeah, you know, give them everything. Yeah, no problem.

Philipa Farley:  And there again, Louise, with that kind of person, would their LinkedIn profile reflect them in their private life? Or most of the time? Yeah, that’s interesting, because I would know a lot of people in my space that have a public persona, you know, I’m not saying like, sort of, like crazy, or schizo, or whatever. I know, you know, they have their public professional persona, and then their private life is very different. You know, they create this digital sort of TV kind of almost personality. Yeah.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah. A digital persona, because you’re like the show person. But then, perhaps on Facebook, you know, you’re a lot more, you might just put photos of your dog photos of your guy, and you’re probably a lot more reserved. Because you’re just so exhausted probably from maintaining your online persona.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, yeah. And you’re right. It does get exhausting, doesn’t it?

Louise Bunyan:  It does, lately.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah. And that’s like the whole point of sort of privacy by design, and that. That should be the default.

Louise Bunyan:  Yes.

Philipa Farley:  And then, you know, you open up what you need. Okay. I sent you over some questions. And we won’t take too much of your time up, because I know it’s so valuable. Thank you. And we’ll just go through them, sort of as briefly as we can, get to the covering of the substance. So the first one is, where did you first come to grips with data protection and the GDPR? And that’s not like sort of only professionally, is like, where did it sink into you that actually this is here to stay, or this matters, or how did it impact you?

Louise Bunyan:  So well, I suppose, I used to work in a global online marketing team before, a recruitment agency, a multinational recruitment agency. And, I mean, you can just imagine the volume on CVs coming in. And our data team was excellent. I suppose it began; my conversations began to kind of filter down throughout the business and words like, you know, “explicit consent” you know, “implicit consent” and all this. And because, I would have been working on like websites, so I suppose, we always had to kind of overlap with the data team. So they would come up with like, wording, and we would like, implement this, and you know, their custom designs like, you know, the privacy policy, you know, a huge amount of work went into that. So, suppose that was the start of this and then, before the GDPR came into being, I remember going to one or two, kind of, workshops – Cork Chamber had an excellent like half day one in the Maryborough Hotel, and a few representatives from the Data Protection Commissioner’s office. Yeah. And they came down. But there was also a little mini workshop for marketers. So like, there were many workshops in different industries. And I just remember, it was only – it was supposed to be like a 25 minute workshop – but it actually just got so many questions. And I just remember her saying over and over again that like marketing people were saying, like, my data, like my lists, my email is my data. She was like, yeah, and she was like: “Guys, it’s not your data. It’s my name. It’s my phone number, my email address and it actually doesn’t belong to you. It’s mine.” And that, that kind of really resonated with me. And I just thought, actually, yeah, you know, when you come out of that marketing space, and when somebody actually says it, and you don’t own this, and like you’re given it, but it’s not yours.

Philipa Farley:  You’re the guardian of it.

Louise Bunyan:  Yes, yes, a custodian. Yes. And so that was the start of it. And then I suppose, I see, I don’t. I don’t have my own email list, you know, and I kind of purposely didn’t didn’t start doing that, because I felt the responsibility was huge, just because I’m a one woman show. And so, I kind of went into the background a bit. And, maybe that little bit naive on my behalf, just because, you know, I didn’t have an email list and I wasn’t kind of, you know, actively going after gathering people’s data. And that was all fine. That was all grand. And then, when I started looking at kind of launching the online part, and then and then when I started moving into that space of…

Philipa Farley:  You need to sell something.

Louise Bunyan:  Yes, but also getting the word out, you know, people yeah, and actually creating a kind, you know, on this online platform. You know, the credit card details of the people were being handled by a company in Australia, but like, I am going to have a database of users. And then, that’s when I obviously I came to you at that stage and I was like, you know, look, this is unknown territory, and I want to do it properly and I want to do right, and, you know, how do we go about doing this? So I suppose, kind of like my data GDPR journey as a business owner, but as just a regular website user, you know, I, I reject all the cookies. You know, when I go into the website and the box pops up, and it says, accept all I’ll go like see the vendor list, and I reject. Or if I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed it, but one or two sites have after I hit reject, or one or two sites will pop off a little box going: “Oh, we really rely on these cookies for advertising.” And, you know, change your preference here. And I’m just like, no tough love. You know, I don’t think me rejecting your cookies is going to implement your advertising revenue. And but I’m just a bit of a diva that way, anyway.

Philipa Farley:  No, Louise, you’re not. You’re like that on your own head because, absolutely not at all should you be doing that. If you follow the data protection conversations and you read the current literature out there, it’s dark patterns, you know. If you’re bored of a day and you want to just go and have a look, look up dark patterns, in the way things are written. So you know, when we even look at the cookie banners that we’re putting up, the teeny tiny ones at the bottom, you know, it shouldn’t say like, “Oh, we use cookies to enhance your experience on the site.” Like if we’re saying we use cookies to enhance your experience – how exactly are we enhancing your personal experience on the website? You know, does the cookie help the websites sort of, I don’t know, get brighter, darker?

Louise Bunyan:  Could I have it in green? You know, my favourite colour is green.

Philipa Farley:  Yes, exactly. It should be absolutely factual: these are the cookies. This is what they do. Accept them. Don’t accept them. Not even a compulsion to accept them, a slight compulsion to accept them.

Louise Bunyan:  I wouldn’t say it’s terrifying, but it is. It can be a little bit overwhelming, when you see the entire list of vendors, you know, and they’re listed alphabetically and you’re scrolling down and…

Philipa Farley:  And it’s just like insanity. Insanity.

Louise Bunyan:  What do all these companies do, and how can there be so many of them?

Philipa Farley:  So yeah, go look up and see what the Brave Browser is doing. It’s like this fight against ad tech, because there’s this massive machine. Basically, and this is really not me with my tinfoil hat on, this fact like. You know, massive machine of like data sucking that’s creating profiles and all of us and you know, at the end of the day, we’re being influenced in ways that we shouldn’t be online, it’s that simple. So, you know, by rejecting all the cookies, going back to your original statement, rejecting all the cookies, you’re saying, “No, I will not participate in this.” But Louise, you know, what’s scary is like, when you reject all, a lot of the technology that’s implemented, does not in fact, do what it should do. So the keys are still dropping on your computer, and people think that they’re not because they’ve got the solution that they just chucked down there.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, you know, at the back of my mind, I’m going” “I’m hitting reject.” there, but, like there’s obviously something somewhere I probably need to know. And, you know, how some of them are opt-out, and you have to go to their website and you have to update and…

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, so that’s that’s not good default behaviour. Yeah. But yeah, that actually answers the second question I was going to ask you: the impact on you personally. So, thank you, you have this fantastic understanding of your own privacy and how to look after it, you know, and it’s a great message to get out to people because, you know, in your own life, you understand the impact and you’re, you’re living it, you’re carrying it through to your professional life, which only benefits the people, you know, who come to you as clients, because you have the understanding, which is fantastic. Yeah. Okay, so number three: where have you seen the opportunities for your own business in the context of the GDPR? You know, you’ve touched briefly on this when you discuss the course design and looking at the data that you’re going to collect. So, you know, it might be an opportunity or it might just be a consideration as part of your business, you know, so just a short point on that?

Louise Bunyan:  Yes, well I suppose, you know, some of like, you know, my core values and like, when I was setting up SmartFox and the core values there would have been, you know, reliable, and, you know, knowledgeable, you know, kind of on the cutting edge, like, you know, quite innovative. And, but I also think, you know, treating people’s data, like, you know, with respect, and that for me, I suppose it’s just, it’s just a ground rule, that I would have. And I guess, you know, if I have somebody who’s a job seeker, and perhaps, you know, they’ve been out of work for many months, as I was, three years ago, or, you know, if they’re thinking about changing jobs, and you know, kind of quietly, basically, they’re not happy where they are, like, if they’re going to be parting with money. And, for me, I suppose that that contract kind of goes beyond that and…and yeah. Like, you know, I put together the best course that I can for them. And now, it’s not just with the online videos, with the content, it’s the whole service offering, like the whole package.

Philipa Farley:  It’s absolutely the right thing to do, yeah.

Louise Bunyan:  But there is a responsibility, as well, you know, you do have a weight of responsibility. And I just want to make sure that that all goes well. So, I suppose, I’m hoping that if I can show, like through all the steps and through all the elements of the business, and that I am, like, like everything is being done properly, like from all elements and like top to bottom. That, in turn, will instill trust in me and trust in my brand as well.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah. And I’m just going to say like I did not influence what you said in any way here. That’s you. The reason why I’m saying that is because that’s absolutely the message we’re trying to get out to people. And I’m so happy that you said it that way, because a lot of people would go: “Oh, I’m only going to do it like, sort of if there’s a risk of a fine or enforcement or a complaint…” And we just really, we really don’t want people to live that way, because that’s no way to sort of live in your professional life. Like, this is something that enhances your service offering and really does absolutely, 100%, you’re correct, build trust, you know, it does build trust.

Louise Bunyan:  It’s just your brand. You know, as a marketer, your brand doesn’t start and stop with just the service that you offer, the brand and like, the transparency behind the scene. Yeah, as well. And that’s something that I see when I go in and out of companies and the first question I always get asked is: Content, you know – What’s the best time to put up content? What’s the best type of content? Whereas I’d be looking at them going, you know, you have a great team here, like, you’ve a great culture here, why not try and get that across – that’s part of your brand as well. But also, you know, when you would adhere to best practice across everything, across all elements of your business. And I think that’s a marker, you know. It can be a kind of trust building marker, but it’s hard work. I mean, like I couldn’t I could have just launched my videos there like months ago and, but instead you know I want to get this right and you know, we were talking about revenue and VAT. And VAT is like a minefield in itself. So I’m working on a tax specialist on that. So you know, maybe that’s just me, like do it and do it well, and do it to the best of your ability.

Philipa Farley:  But, you’re building the correct foundation and framework to hang on to. So, you know, you’re cleaning up later you know, you’re starting right which is fantastic.

Louise Bunyan:  Of course there is the threshold like a fine or a complaint.

Philipa Farley:  But that’s not your motivation. That’s the motivation.

Louise Bunyan:  That’s the motivation. That’s what I’m trying to avoid. Yeah, across everything. You know with revenue, with data, but if I go to the right people and follow the right steps, then, you know, that will protect me then further or further down the line or, you know, hopefully I won’t even get into the situation because I’ve done everything right at the start.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah. I have another client that I’ve worked with for two to three years now. You know, ongoing maturing their compliance, and they would be exactly what you’re saying there. They would be getting awards for sustainability, you know, their, their compliance to modern slavery legislation. Yeah, yeah, you know, that’s how you drive but you know what I mean? Like, like everything they would go for the industry standard awards, that are recognised and there’s space for all of these things, you know, particularly sustainability now. I think it is the focus there. But you know, you’re absolutely right. When you say when you’re in that mindset and you’re showing that you’re in it for the long haul, and you’re going to do it right. It’s a huge plus for your business. Okay, so number four, we’ve spoken about a little bit as well, is: Where have you seen the opportunities for your clients in terms of you being compliant with the law? GDPR and data protection law?

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, and, again, you know, consigned to the trust part, as well, and ,I suppose, and you know, they’re very they’re, they’re quite closely linked, and people feeling – some people’s feelings towards LinkedIn. You know, how much information do I give away and connect, you know, who do I connect with? So there is a theme there is a pattern there of like, I suppose being public and being visible on a social media platform, and you layer the whole it’s tied to your job, you know, tied to your professional career and as a lot of fear there and like doing something wrong and, the irony is nobody has ever really asked me about what LinkedIn doing, you know, with all the information. And, they’re just more concerned about not, was not making an eejit out of themselves, like on LinkedIn building something wrong. So, I suppose, you know, when you map back on them to GDPR or like, as a customer as an individual, and like there are kind of similar themes, But, to be honest, like when I’m trading the whole data, like I’m the one who’s kind of saying LinkedIn now has that data. So you know, LinkedIn has your profile. So when it’s showing you jobs, it’s working off of your, your profile, and I’m the one actually in training who’s kind of pointing it out.

Philipa Farley:  For them to be aware of it.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, yeah. And it plugs in with them, like Microsoft, as well. And, and there is…

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, it connects with Outlook, and your like, Word. You can pull information into the other applications for you.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah. And there’s a CV builder too, like in the software. That’s actually one of the privacy settings, when you get to the privacy part – I think it’s under account? It’s under “job seeking preferences”, like third party and like third party applications, and stuff and I was looking up dash and from what I can see yes, I look and it’s Microsoft Word as well. So again, I’m you know, I’m not an expert, like, by any means in that area. But in case I ever get asked, like, you know, I do need to know and, but yeah, though it can like me pointing a little things going, I have to show you this, because it has.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, all of this. It’s raising awareness in the public, Louise, because I just had a discussion there, this morning about the use of WhatsApp in the work context. It was quite a convoluted discussion, but, part of it was: when you’re doing your legitimate interest assessment, like if you’re processing on legitimate interest, how do you justify the use of WhatsApp? And one of the pointers in a legitimate interest assessment would be for the data subject, would they consider your data processing to be a reasonable use of their data? Or, what are you doing? Is that reasonable? So what I was trying to say is, like, if you look at the current landscape in front of us, people are quite happy to conduct business on Facebook. They’re all over LinkedIn, they’re on Twitter, they’re everywhere. So, if I say to a data subject, you know, I’ve got you on a LinkedIn list. They’re not going to be surprised by that. You know, where the person I was chatting to was like, but there’s such huge privacy concerns and x, y and z… And I was like, yes, I know that. I know that. But what I’m saying is the criteria is: would the data subject be surprised? And, they wouldn’t because like, they don’t know a lot of the time, you know.

Louise Bunyan:  Actually, I can fill you in like, I know, I’m talking to one or two recruiters when they’re dealing with and I hate this term millennials, but when they’re, let’s say dealing with like under 30s, they won’t they won’t answer their phones. They’d be ringing them and they won’t answer their phones. Whereas now they messaged them on WhatsApp and they’ll actually reply, like the candidates, you know, the client. So if the client actually engages, prefers to engage with you on WhatsApp, and it allows you to kind of carry out your business…

Philipa Farley:  Yes, that’s their preference. That’s exactly what I was saying.

Louise Bunyan:  It’s their preference to use it, and so therefore you meet them there. However, like if I was asked professionally, what do we do? I would say “Guys, there’s WhatsApp for business where you get the correct contract, you have the correct controls over the conversations so register the recruitment business for WhatsApp for business and use that, if that’s what they prefer.” You know, actually, can I ask you about a, like, conspiracy theory that I have? You know certain radio stations will say “WhatsApp Us” so like they you know if I’m like entering competitions or like commenting on something. In the back of my mind, in my marketing brain I’m always like, are they just building up profiles of who’s messaging the station you know demographics, who’s entering, like she’s female, she’s this age, she’s entering this competition?

Philipa Farley:  And then that’s that’s the whole actual thing. I say, go check it out. Say, let’s use me as an example: I have two children. Okay, two young ones. They want to go to Disney whatever, you know, whenever they see Disney on the TV, they’re like “Enter the competition, Mom” And I’m like “No, I’m not wasting my money.” You know, “Enter the competition, Dad!” And dad invariably lands up like you know sending a text or WhatsApp. So there is a profile being built: there’s a family of four, you know, who wants to go on holiday to Disney. What starts appearing in the feeds a week down the line, Louise? Holiday specials to Disney, wherever, you know. So yes, it does absolutely like, it’s not even a conspiracy. It’s just a fact now. Yes, it does. But that would depend on, like you say specifically your radio station, storing the data or allowing access to their data. And, having said that, I’ll go back to the WhatsApp points and say, Whatsapp is owned by Facebook. And if you go and read like the Ts and Cs, you’ll see that there is like some obfuscation on the point of is there data sharing going on? And we can show you see, we should assume that WhatsApp is sharing data with Facebook in that regard.

Louise Bunyan:  Oh, absolutely. I remember, last Christmas, I was watching one of the Harry Potter movies, and I was WhatsApping a friend. And there was and yeah, like three Harry Potter films, I don’t you know like another two more to go, or four, or whatever. And honest to god, like I have never mentioned the words “Harry Potter” ever. The next day, I opened up Facebook and there was a post at the very top, going: Who is, if you were a Harry Potter character, which is your character? And yeah, I remember staring at it going, god almighty, like, this is not a coincidence.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. No. Yeah. Yeah. Moving on from this. So, I am going to ask you to share a small positive story in terms of data protection, like, where you’ve managed to help somebody like, you know, you’ve spoken repeatedly about privacy settings, and that. Do you have one that you would like to share?

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, yeah, like I have one, one or two. But I think that, that whole turning off this “share with the network”, that can be a bit of a game changer for people as well, because a lot of them just don’t know that this exists. But also, like with LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a funny one, right? Because we use it for work. But, it depends on what email address you have as your primary email address. So you know, you can have like 2, 3, 4 or 5 email addresses and you can log in with any of them. But only one email address can be your primary email address, which means all the communications, all the emails, that go to the address. So I always kind of mention it, if I’m in-house, I kind of have to word it in a certain way, if the boss is in the room. But, and so a few times people have, kind of said in the past, that they might have their work email address on their LinkedIn profile, which is fine. But then, if you’re applying for a job through LinkedIn, it sends the confirmation to the primary email address. So, that can be coming like into your work email, it can be saying “Louise, thanks for your application.”  So, when I’m dealing with job seekers, you know, or job changers, and quite often they’re high level executives who just want to kind of change roles. That’s one of the first things that we will cover, would be looking at that email address. And you can put it in your personal one as well. You can change it to be your primary email address. So, I think that’s kind of saved a few blushes for certain people. And then this is another story and a high level executive who is just kind of setting up their own consultancy at the moment, and their email address on their LinkedIn account so they’ve had 7 to 800 connections on that. That was their old job basically but 2 years ago, and they couldn’t get into that account and they couldn’t understand why, and they kept hitting the password reset button but they didn’t realise that it was like the old two jobs ago email address. So they created a second profile, so they had two profiles, and they had about four connections on the new one. So, and I was kind of looking, we were trying to kind of, like, get into it. And then I said, you know, on the app, I was like, well, is your phone number still the same as the job two years ago? And he said: “Yeah, yeah, always been that number.” So, we put in the phone number. And then, we had to text a code, you know, to get in, and then all of a sudden, he was in the account, that he’d been locked out for two years. So, we had to add, you know, the new email address, the personal Gmail email address. And the signed up email address was two jobs ago. And literally there was silence. It was an online call and was silent for like five seconds, going “oh my god.”

Philipa Farley:  He just can’t believe it.

Louise Bunyan:  Again, this I’ve been trying to get into this account, like for two years and it was actually weighing enormously like on them, that they had 700 connections and this is there.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, but wow, Louise, think about the value in those 700 connections like what that’s worth.

Louise Bunyan:  But also, like, their career history. Yeah. And you know, they weren’t happy with it and the dates are wrong and, and I just got it in that moment. And I was like, that’s your, yeah, that’s all your data, that’s your personal, that’s your professional work persona, and you don’t, you don’t have access to it. Now, before this whole phone number thing we did look at and you know, LinkedIn, to be fair, the help section is very good. It’s very comprehensive. There is a part where you can go where you can say, all, you don’t know my password, I don’t know what email address, and you have to verify your identity and all the rest of it. Yeah, like, thank god, they have that. And I’m sure that you know, every day they get messages and people going, I can’t get access to my account, you know, it’s my old email address, blah, blah, blah. But thank god, and the phone number was still the same, and the phone number was connected, and just the relief! Like the app, the sheer relief! We deleted the new account with like four connections. And then, to be fair, over a couple of days, this client did ‘trojan’ work on their profile, like it’s kind of an A+ profile now. He was just delighted, like, beyond delighted to finally, and be able to get access to all his entire professional and employment history.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, that’s actually like, it’s giving me goosebumps. No seriously because like, you know, I kind of lose touch with that, that side of humanity a bit. Like, I’ve been my own boss for so long I’m in total control of my entire life like. Just your stories of, and I wouldn’t even think about it,like emails going into a corporate inbox where I see this side of it, Louise, people have set up filters and keyword triggers and dah dah dah dah dah dah. So yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, and this is where we go in, and say, listen in transparency, the employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you’re doing that you have to declare it, they have to know about it, you know, and all these discussions are happening behind the scenes. Like say you’re a key employee in a business, your company could have set up trigger keywords to be alerted to the fact that you might be job seeking. Most organisations like to use that, for IP and security reasons, you know that you’re not emailing stuff out, okay? Like, legitimately, but people do use it for other reasons. So it’s frightening to think that people don’t know that they should have that other email address. I’m also the kind of person that turns off notifications of anything. So only if I’m personally mentioned in a post I get an email about it.

Louise Bunyan:  Yeah, okay. Yeah, that whole job seeking. The job seeking on LinkedIn, you know, with the icon at the gentleman, and briefcase. In the online course that I put together, I have a whole section on job seeking preferences, because they’re so important. Like, really, really important, and especially if you are in full time employment, and you are kind of doing it quietly, and you just need to know.

Philipa Farley:  Yeah, absolutely. And really like, can you see now what I was saying to you? You do all of these things that are so amazing for data protection, but you don’t know that you’re doing them because you’re in your language and I’m speaking in my language. And, you have such a depth of knowledge about it and how to help people. And I think it’s just wonderful. So thank you so much.

Louise Bunyan:  Thank you so much, Philipa. Thanks for your time.

Philipa Farley:  Okay, I’m going to stop the recording. Okay. Just one second here. Is there anything you want to tell people to get in touch with you, how to find you? What’s the best way to find you?

Louise Bunyan:  Okay, so if you want to get in touch with me, I suppose the easiest thing to do is you can either find me on LinkedIn, So it’s Louise Bunyan,  and the company is Smartfox. So my website is I’ve written a couple of blogs, like three things you should do on LinkedIn, even if you’re not looking for a new job, you know, three more things you should do on LinkedIn, and so on and so forth. So like, if you are, unfortunately let’s say you have been made redundant suddenly or you know, you’re not currently working, like there’s all that free information there to help anybody. And if you’re on Twitter, and personally, I’m @louloubunyan or the company one is @smartfoxdigital, as well.

Philipa Farley:  Well, that’s fantastic. I gotta go find you there. Thanks, Louise.

Louise Bunyan:  Okay, thanks for doing Bye. Thanks, Philipa.

Philipa Farley:  We hope you enjoyed that episode of The GDPR series. If you do, please subscribe. Find us on social media. We’d love to have a chat!

Philipa Jane Farley

Written By Philipa Jane Farley

Philipa is the lead consultant and auditor at ProPrivacy.  With clients as far afield as Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Germany, Spain and other such exotic locations, besides Cork and elsewhere in Ireland, Philipa enjoys a broad view of the state of data protection, privacy and cyber security worldwide.  Philipa’s passion is manageable data compliance for SMEs.

Philipa is a qualified teacher besides holding a computer science (Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence Programming) and electronic and intellectual property law (LLB) qualified. She is trained in constitutional (fundamental) rights litigation and enjoys a good debate.

Philipa has over twenty years of experience working in different sized organisations and sectors on operational, governance, risk management and compliance matters. She is an analytical and focused person that enjoys a challenge in the workplace. She loves technology, systems and people and has a passion for showing people how technology can make life easier and better. She understands that the world is driven by data today but privacy is paramount. Responsibly developed AI excites Philipa for the future.

ProPrivacy | GDPR Privacy Cyber Security in Cork, Ireland