“Probably”: an Irreverent Overview of the GDPR

“Probably”: an Irreverent Overview of the GDPR – Brendan O’Connor


If you work in privacy, technology, marketing, or the law, or if you have an email account, you’ve heard of the GDPR. But what is it really? Why is your in-house lawyer grumpy all the time? Why is your marketing team walking around with stickers that say “legitimate business use of data” and trying to slap them on random objects to see if they stick? Why, legally, can’t you remember anyone’s names anymore? This presentation will attempt to take a look at the GDPR from the perspective of a confused outsider who can’t quite believe what’s going on (as opposed to a burned-out practitioner), without getting too worked up about it. We’ll cover why the GDPR exists, what it does, why some people are freaked out about it, why to be concerned and/or unconcerned, and whether kittens or puppies make the better reference animal for GDPR compliance memes. Relax! It’s all going to be fine! Probably.


Described by coworkers as “not the lawyer we need, but the lawyer we deserve” (and he’s pretty sure that wasn’t meant as a compliment), Brendan O’Connor is a security researcher, consultant, and attorney based in Seattle. His day job is building security programs, but at night, he transforms into a person who spends too much time arguing with people who are wrong on the Internet. If caught, his companies will deny all knowledge of this presentation.