REUTERS | Amit Dave

In-house Privacy and Cybersecurity Community: how to join us

I am delighted to announce the launch of our new Practical Law In-house Privacy and Cybersecurity Community, a space where in-house counsel can come together to support and learn from each other through Practical Law.

Practical Law subscribers can access the Practical Law UK Community by following the “Community” button in the banner at the top right of the Practical Law page. After the simple sign-up process, including setting up your profile, you will be able to enter the Practical Law UK Community where you can find the In-house Privacy and Cybersecurity Community. By “following” this group, you become a member and can start participating. Take a look at our guidance to help get you started with some of the features and my top tips on Community netiquette set out below.

Community can help you crowdsource the insights you need to help you in your job day-to-day and benchmark your approach with your peers. Along with the rest of the Practical Law team, I’ll be part of the Community. I’ll be sharing interesting news stories, comments on legal and market developments and Ask queries that have got us thinking. Over the past few months, we’ve also built a team of valued steering group members who are committed to helping Community members and who will add their insights to this forum.

Top tips

When you sign up for the Community you agree to the Community Terms of Use. While this sets out the legal terms that govern the use of Community, we’re conscious that users are likely to find some more informal rules of thumb helpful. I thought it would therefore be helpful to provide my tips on getting the most out of Community. I certainly don’t have a monopoly on wisdom here though and I would really welcome any feedback as we get started.

Remember the basics

Most of your fellow members will be practising lawyers with professional duties to uphold. Treat Community as the helpful tool it can be but be careful not to overstep the mark on client confidentiality or other matters of professional conduct.

Decide what you want from the group and do it

We anticipate most people will want to use this virtual community as a sounding board for the real world data protection, privacy and cybersecurity-related compliance challenges they are facing and to work with fellow community members on finding solutions. This might be done one-to-one with peers, in small private groups (specifically established “sub-subjects”) or in the wider community.

Know your audience

Your audience is predominantly in-house lawyers who are facing challenges in their day-to-day work dealing with data protection, privacy and cybersecurity compliance challenges. The community is an opportunity to share your own challenges but also to support others facing their own. It will take a bit of time to understand what others are interested in. Stay alert to their confidentiality and privacy as well as your own.

You can’t hurry love

With apologies for the Phil Collins reference, Community really is a game of give and take. Like any real world community, we don’t get far without the attitude of helping others so they can help us. Building relationships and your reputation matters. Great collaboration should follow.

Be a leader but not a dictator or poser

Trying to control the conversation or putting yourself on a pedestal in the community is likely to backfire. Enter all discussions with an “anyone-can-join” attitude. We all arrive at this with different levels of knowledge and experience. If you feel like you have particular expertise on a subject, aim to take people with you and also be prepared to share the stage with others and be challenged too. Resist the urge to “score points” over anyone. Respectful disagreement is a vital part of legal discourse, but so is the willingness to have one’s mind changed by sound logic and reasonable evidence.

Keep your contributions concise and on-topic

The risk with all social media is “getting lost in the noise”. We don’t want this experience to be the equivalent of watching cat videos on Facebook for you (much as we love cats). Keep your questions, answers and thoughts relevant and useful for everyone else, especially on the main community wall. We will be moderating lightly to ensure we maintain a community that everyone feels engaged and comfortable in.

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