Welcome back to C8’s top stories of the month! This is our recurring blog where members of our team are invited to explore a story they found particularly interesting or ‘game-changing’ in the world of tech or surrounding areas.
In October, we explored a range of stories, from the importance of GDPR consent to whether Damian Hurst’s latest NFT project can be considered art.
Read below and let us know what you think. What was your top story of October? Use #C8storytellers and explain why!
Megan Mackintosh – Senior PR Executive
Working for a PR agency with many clients in the data protection and cybersecurity space, I am a big advocate of GDPR and have often found it hard to sympathise with those who think that cookie pop-ups are a good enough reason to deviate from these regulations. That being said, it can be argued that GDPR is in many ways too vague with its guidance. I was interested to read many of the not-illegal but manipulative loopholes used in marketing and advertising in this Digiday piece on “Dark Patterns”.
It’s a great article that guides those who are cautious about their personal data and online purchasing habits through some of the ways that e-commerce corporations or digital ads pressure customers into making decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make, and even illustrates these with a memorable video. Whatever your thoughts on these marketing practices, it is important under GDPR that users give their consent to data sharing knowingly, and informative journalism like this is a great way to level the playing field between brands and would-be consumers.
Jim Pople – PR Director
Working for a ‘disruptive-tech’ PR agency, non-fungible tokens are something that, inevitably, we will have to become au-fait with. This is despite numerous stories circulating that the popularity of NFTs – and the blockchain in general – will continue to subside. Regardless, my head continues to fall into my hands when I see stories such as Damien Hurst burning physical masterpieces – worth hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars – when the NFT version was selected instead. This is all about uniqueness, apparently – the NFT and actual artwork cannot co-exist.
Call me old-fashioned but some things are a little ridiculous. Isn’t art supposed to be art?
Liam Hodgson – PR Executive
This month there were many notable awareness themes – Black History Month, Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as well as days such as World Mental Health Day, Halloween, and, perhaps lesser known, Ada Lovelace Day. I am ashamed to say, I had never heard of Ada Lovelace, but this story peaked my interest. After reading it, I was astonished that I didn’t even know who she is. As a leading mathematician, Ada is known for her contributions towards the creation of the first computer. She is recognised on the second Tuesday of October every year, with her namesake used to highlight the contributions of women across all STEM industries, a worthwhile cause recognising those in industries still largely dominated by men. However, it appears that this day could be removed from the calendar, as budgets for celebrations such as these continue to be cut post-Brexit.
John Vignaux – PR Executive
Ian Levy, Technical Director of the National Cyber Security Centre, officially waved goodbye last month after a 22-year career in the intelligence industry. To celebrate he wrote a rather long blog, 6000 words give or take, aptly titled “So Long and thanks for all the bits”.
In the blog he covers a lot, but his insightful, honest, and humorous approach (one I must admit I didn’t expect from someone with his title) is refreshing. He addresses the issues he has faced, and we will most likely