The Data Privacy Industry is booming.
There exists a shortage of credible and authoritative Data Privacy professionals to satisfy the ever-increasing appetite for businesses to hire world-class data privacy talent across the globe.
In this debut episode, we speak to Jamal Ahmed, CEO of Kazient Privacy Experts. He explains what compelled him to found the Privacy Pros Academy, what makes it unique and what sets it apart from anything else in the world.
Jamal discusses his partnership with the International Association of Privacy Professionals, what he loves about being a Privacy Pro.
Jamal shares the value of the Privacy Pros Community and much more…
Jamal Ahmed is a leading global Privacy Professional, World Class Trainer and Lead Mentor at the Privacy Pros Academy.
Are you ready to know what you don't know about PrivacyPros, then you're in the right place.
Welcome to the PrivacyPros Academy podcast by Kazient Privacy Experts, the podcast to launch, progress and accelerate your career as a PrivacyPro.
Hear about the latest news and developments in the world of Privacy.
Discover fascinating insights from Leading Global Privacy Professionals
and hear real stories and top tips from the people who've been where you want to get to
We are an official IAPP training partner.
We've trained people in over 137 countries and counting.
So whether you're thinking about starting a career in Data Privacy, or you're an experienced Professional,
This is the podcast for you.
Jamilla 0:58I've been with Kazient since:
He is a revered global privacy thought leader, world class trainer and published author for publications such as Thomson Reuters, The Independent, Euronews, as well as numerous industry publications. Jamal makes regular appearances in the media on television, radio, and in print, and has been dubbed the King of GDPR by the BBC.
Thank you for such a lovely introduction.
And so I think we'll start off with it with an icebreaker to kind of get the conversation flowing.
Alright, let's do that.
So, if you had to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
If I had to create a slogan for my life, what would it be? You know what my slogan for life is. Do your best, and God will do the rest.
That's very good that's very succinct. I think it says it all in one sentence I like that one thank you get down to it, let's get down to what the people want to know about you. So you're a fellow of Information Privacy and the first British Muslim and person of Bangladeshi origin to hold the title, and how does that make you feel?
You know what Jamila, I'm truly humbled and honoured to be the first British Muslim and the first person of Bangladeshi origin to be honoured with the Fellow of Information Privacy from the International Association of Privacy Professionals. It's really opened up a lot of people's ideas of what's possible and what isn't and I really hope that inspires other people from similar backgrounds to aim high. Data Privacy is an industry where there is a lack of representation from the BAME minority, and if that helps one or two people to say I want to aim high and go for it as well, then, you know, that would have been amazing. It's created a lot of opportunities for me so I've been included in the Bangladeshi who's who. Yeah. I've also met with the Government of Bangladesh and giving them advice on data security and also being part of the vision of the digital Bangladesh initiative that they have to really drive the economy, and it's created lots of great opportunities to meet inspiring people and to get involved with lots of positive stuff to bring diversity and inclusion into data privacy as well. So I'm honestly truly humbled and honoured to be recognised with such an award.
That's great. You mentioned there's a lack of diversity and why do you think that is within the privacy sector?
The data privacy sector historically has been dominated by middle class men who have a legal background and are typically lawyers, and up until recent times up until the GDPR started coming in, it wasn't really something that is on many businesses radars and therefore there, it wasn't. It was such a niche area that most people kind of stayed away and start doing more mainstream things or other things that they knew about data privacy is only become familiar in people's language over the last couple of years, but because it used to do with a piece of law, the lawyers and everyone kind of assumed that it was a legal area, and therefore it's been dominated by upper class men who are lawyers, over the last 10 to 20 years.
So you don't actually have to be a lawyer to be involved in data privacy, would you say?
No so no this is a big misconception and a big myth that people have is, there is absolutely no requirement for you to have any kind of a legal background who make it successfully as a Data Privacy Consultant and I'm living proof of that right. In fact, if you don't have that legal background, it can sometimes work to your advantage. One of the things I see businesses struggling with a lot of the time is when they hire a lawyer to do their data protection, they write policies they write privacy notice in a language that doesn't make sense to anyone. Now, the average reading age in this country is 11 years old so when we're writing privacy notices when we're writing legal documents and creating processes we need to make sure that an 11 year old could read and understand that and having a legal background often makes it very difficult to lose that legally lawyer language that you've been studying or practising 10 to 15 years, and be able to write or explain something in a very basic way where everyone gets the message and is able to keep up and follow on board. And what I found, and what people love about Kazient Privacy Experts is we deliver data privacy in a language that's accessible to everyone. And when you don't have a background as a lawyer, so it really helps to be as pragmatic as you can and to write stuff and to deliver information in a really simple way.
You mentioned one of the key messages behind Kazient is to deliver data privacy in a language, people can understand. And for a lot of people this podcast might be the first introduction to Kazient, so would you be able to tell me a little bit more about Kazient and tell the audience?
Yeah, so Kazient Privacy Experts we are a leading global boutique consultancy when it comes to all things data privacy. And the reason I set Kazient up is one of the things I identified early on is that there was a massive gap in the market that small and medium sized businesses could access to get help with the GDPR to get help with privacy legislation, the only option was to either do nothing, or to go to a law firm, and pay ridiculous amounts of money for policies and processes that doesn't make any sense to anyone, and that would collect dust. So what I realised was look, people want a world class service, but they don't have the budget or the appetite because they're an SME to be able to access that, but they still want to do the right thing, they still want to protect the personal data of their customers of the stakeholders on their staff of the investor right so Kazient Privacy Experts we provide a pragmatic solution to small and medium sized businesses at a professional level that they couldn't otherwise access or an affordable price. That gives them great value for money, not just to them but also to all of their stakeholders.
Our mission at Kazient Privacy Experts, is to empower every single organisation, on the planet, to be able to safeguard the personal data that they collect. And one of the things that we realised is for us to be able to do this, it's gonna be physically impossible for us to be going into every single organisation on the planet, and really help them with their privacy programmes, what we can do is empower lots of individuals who will go out there and implement that learning that they have to through us for going through our PrivacyPro Academy. We're also an award winning business so we've been awarded Best Business SME, we've been finalists for the British Business Awards, and we're also finalists in a number of other places but because of COVID, all of that came to a stop. So we've been informed that we're finalists, and through our years we've managed to build ourselves a reputation as the leading global providers of privacy solutions all over the world, and I'm really pleased to say that we've provided Privacy solutions worldwide across six continents, and we've managed to train people in over 137 countries, and counting.
That's really interesting because I think a lot of people when they think about data privacy, they think it's a UK issue or a European issue with GDPR but have you seen more and more interest from worldwide after GDPR?
Jamal 9:18legislation in place, but by:Jamilla:
Wow. Yeah so, within two years there's gonna be a 50% increase if my math is math is correct, of people who will be covered by privacy legislation. So is that one of the reasons that prompted you to create the PrivacyPros Academy to train professionals in the field?Jamal:
Yes, absolutely. So look, there is a shortage of world class privacy professionals out there there's too many people that want to learn how to pass an exam but they can't actually go out there and deliver work, and daily I'm getting approached by a professional saying can you recommend some people to us. We have a need for top quality privacy professionals. So what we've done is put together the PrivacyPros Academy, where we take someone who's got very little or no previous knowledge, or even they might have a couple of years experience. We take them through our five step PrivacyPro Academy process and by the end of the 12 weeks they come out as a world class professional companies can't wait to hire.Jamilla:
Wow, interesting and really good that 12 weeks you can go from almost a novice to being,Jamal:
you know, when you don't even need 12 weeks we had a student that signed up in December to start the programme in January. Last week, she sent me a message and she's been she's just secured her dream role in a multinational organisation as a data privacy professional. Wow I think four weeks she's still got eight weeks ago. They love what they saw from her and what she'd learned from the Academy so much they love the fact that she she was able to demonstrate through some of the strategies that we teach that she was passionate about privacy, she was able to communicate that to them in an effective way, and therefore they said, you know what, you're hired.Jamilla:
Wow, that's amazing. That's amazing. And a testament to Kazient and PrivacyPros Academy.Jamal:
Yeah, it is actually transformed her life. Yeah, and she can go and live the life that she's always dreamed of and do the thing that she always wanted to do, which wasn't possible with where she was stuck before, so yeah it's truly inspirational, and that's just in four weeks. Yeah and that's just one person in four, we've got story after story of people achieving amazing success throughout the Academy. One of the things that I identified quite early on is, people that want to get it become a privacy professional, not just any privacy professional but a world class privacy professional, they need ongoing support right and when I first started on my journey, and there was books and resources I could go to, but there wasn't really anyone there that sat me down that showed me like a mentor, this is the path from A to B, etc. So I spent a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy going around in circles trying to figure it all out on my own. And once I figured it out, I was able to help a number of people go through that process, but take out all of the extra stuff and just focus on a straight path. And what we've identified is that we now have a proven strategy to get someone from where they are, where they know very little or have little experience when it comes to privacy, all the way to where they become a credible and authoritative privacy professional people want to pay a lot of money to hire, and my personal experience of mentoring individuals to get them from that point to this point, we realised that you know what we have a powerful strategy here, and what we shouldn't be doing is we should create an academy, where we offer people ongoing support so that they can get from here to here, in the most efficient and quickest way possible.Jamal:
Now, what I really want to do is create something where we can kind of give back to the world and give back to individual and say, Hey, you want to transform your lives, you want to change the way you do things you want to have a meaningful career. We're here to help you, and we want to help as many people as we can, In fact, we want to bring as many people as we can from a diversity and inclusion point of view. In the previous industry. So you might recall, last year in December, I was invited to industry event. And one of the topics that I had to discuss, I was invited to discuss it was practical steps to drive change into data privacy, and I made a commitment that next year, that's one of the things that we're going to be implementing, and therefore we put the PrivacyPros Academy together to take people who might not otherwise believe they have a chance at privacy because they don't have that support in place, who really know that they can be confident, and they have the support they have the resources to take them from where they are now to where they want to be in a short space of 12 weeks. And one of the things that people really value about the PrivacyPros Academy is when they, when usually people go on some kind of a data privacy training, what they you usually get is two days in a classroom where someone delivers some slides to them, and the left to do whatever it is they do after that. Now sometimes people leave it three four or five six months before they go and sit the exam, and during that time they lose a lot of knowledge, or when they're revising their notes questions come up, that they didn't think about the time, or because they're learning the material and they've had different experiences they have new questions, but guess what they've done the training, there's nobody there to support them. So, our PrivacyPros Academy offers that lifetime support to all of our students from even before they come into the training during the training and even once they've left the training to make sure that they have that ongoing support that environment. Those winning mindset people surrounding them really rooting for them to give them every opportunity to be as successful as they can be.Jamilla:
It's a really supportive course it's personable it's, you get that individual support you get the opportunity to ask questions really unique from anything that anyone is offering.Jamal:
Absolutely, I mean look, here's a course you've got two choices right you can either go spend two days with someone, or with a trading company that doesn't just do data privacy, they deliver all kinds of training by generic trainer, or you've got the opportunity to come and train with a business that all they do is data privacy. They have a leading reputation as being the privacy for date versus the non for profit they've won awards for data privacy, but they're not just going to give you two days of their time, they don't care about your money they care about you as a person, transforming you getting you from A to becoming be where you are a world leading privacy professional that's credible, that's authoritative and that can earn higher money, and you have the ongoing support because every week.Jamal:
I come on live at the Academy, I answer the questions that people have, people can ask me questions, they can jump on a live with me and every week we answer all of their questions that they have. And there's other people there that are been through the academy that are answering those questions, even before I get to it. And sometimes people are asking questions that some people haven't even thought of. So they're learning from that collective experience. And guess what, all of the questions are searchable they don't disappear. So even if someone comes into the academy six months later, they can see all of the questions that have been asked right from the beginning, which is searchable so it makes it a really great resource that you don't get anywhere else.Jamilla:
That's amazing. And in addition to the PrivacyPros Academy, and they see you've also secured a partnership with the International Association of Privacy Professionals, could you tell us a bit more about that?Jamal:
Yeah, so the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, is the largest most recognised privacy body in the world. I believe they have over 600,000 members now. They have over a in over 130 countries, and it is the single most credible certifying body of any privacy qualification. So when it comes to data privacy certifications, they give you an MC approved certification which means that it's recognised worldwide. It's a universally recognised qualification in fact, the CIPP the Certified Information Privacy Professional designation is the gold standard in the Privacy industry, and any business that is serious, or credible will look for a individual who has, as a minimum, the CIPP, to be considered for a role, they won't even look at someone who doesn't have that on the CV is a prerequisite. And therefore, you partner up with such a leading organisation with them to deem as worthy of being granted a worldwide virtual training agreement and partnership means that what we can do is we can really, our people, regardless of where they are in the world by offering them world class training services. And what I'm really delighted and thrilled about, is that the IAPP looked at Kazient, a company led by me in the City of London lost with all of the other corporates and they say you know what we want to work with you guys. And we believe in you, we're going to let you train people worldwide. And we want to build a partnership with you, and it's not easy to secure a partnership with the IAPP, and for them to have that belief in us should really give everyone listening, the confidence that when it comes to data privacy, where you are the best.Jamilla:
Yeah. So Jamal you mentioned earlier about one student that you had that four weeks into the programme, they've already got their dream job and I've watched some of the interviews with the current students, and seeing the support and confidence that you've given them throughout the journey. So what do you think makes Kazient's training unique from your perspective?Jamal:
What makes us unique is our five step formula that you can't get anywhere else. So when students come into our signature PrivacyPro Accelerator Programme, we take them through five stages to the first day we take them through is their mindset, we make sure they have the winning mindset. The mindset of a highly paid successful world class privacy professional, most companies don't even think about mindset and it's not something they certainly spend any time offering, because of my unique background as an NLP practitioner because of my experience in a previous career of being a life coach, I can bring all those unique elements to the table because I can really see how having that winning mindset, have destroying those self limiting beliefs, or that lack of confidence or not giving yourself the permission to be successful can really hold people back from being all that they can be. So that's the first thing we do is we look at the mindset. Once you've done the mindset.Jamal:
In addition, who the Certified Information Privacy Professional training that they'll go on. We give them additional master classes to make sure that they really grasp the concepts of all of the theory that they're learning in fact we break everything down and we build it back up again. So by the time they've completed one topic they are an expert, a subject matter expert on me and they can go out confidently and solve any privacy challenge in relation to that topic. The next thing that we do is we help them to get certified as an Information Privacy Professional by the IAPP and get the gold standard when it comes to Data Privacy. So that's the mindset, that's the subject matter expertise, that's credibility. Next thing we do is we will build up their authority so we take in and work with me or my colleagues, they get to shadow us and we give them practical assignments that most businesses need help with. So for example, how to write a privacy notice how to create a record of processing activities, how to respond to a data subject access request, how to draft policies, how to conduct a data protection impact assessment. Nobody teaches you this stuff in training, and even if someone teaches you the theory if you're going to have a conversation with a hiring manager, unless you've actually seen it being done unless you've actually done it yourself and experienced it, it's very difficult to convince the hiring manager to hire you and take a chance on you with 50, 60,000 pounds over someone else who might have that experience.Jamal:
So we give them that practical experience to make sure that they offer the complete package. And the final thing we do is we help them with their personal branding, it's all great having all those things in place, but what we want to do is we want them to be magnets for attracting highly paid work opportunities. We want people to come to them and ask them for their opinion for articles and publications, and we teach them all of our secret strategies for doing that, not by accident that interviews from all of the media across the world, there's something that we're doing behind the scenes to attract those things to us, or a place to go, but we have to make our effort right, and we teach those strategies that we use, I've been successful for us who our students, and we really show them and give them everything to be as successful as they can be so they can transform their lives. That's great. Now,Jamilla:
I'm Jamal, it seems that you live and breathe data privacy you've been dubbed the king of GDPR by the BBC. So what is it that attracted you to the privacy industry and what is it that you love about the industry and your job as CEO of Kazient.Jamal:
What I love about the job in the industry is every single day is different. I've never had two days that have been completely identical today. It's such a fast paced evolving place to be in there's always new laws, there's always new cases, there's always new complaints, there's always new countries that are passing laws in privacy or using technology in a new way, or using artificial intelligence in another way. It's really important to make sure that we're ahead of the curve to keep an eye on all the developments and we can make sure that there's ethical checks when it comes to at use, and it's so relevant, that there used to be some kind of misconception that privacy is some kind of geeky thing that's irrelevant, but we've seen just recently NHS test and trace police using body cam footage, WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, Amazon, everyone is getting fined for not complying with data privacy. Everyone is trying to use data in a new age, impacting every single person in the world. There are apps collecting data on people from specific faith bases and selling them to US intelligence. This stuff is so important. It's super relevant, and we need great people who will come out and speak, or the truth is pointing out when companies are going wrong, or when governments are trying to do things wrong and make sure that we stand for ethical use of privacy. So for me, privacy is so relevant and we need good people out there to make sure that the checks and balances exists, because you know what, if it's left alone and if people are not interested in if people don't understand what's going on their rights will be infringed. So it's a fast paced environment, and you get to really transform people and businesses, you get to get a business who is in a very immature stage when it comes to data privacy and compliance, you're going to spend some time working with them and you really get to transform the way the business does things. So not only does the staff have more trust in them, but their customers have more trust in them and they are able to use it as a competitive advantage, something that they never previously thought about, to be able to fulfil their mission and their vision and give back their meaning to the world, and everything that we do and everything you come across is so currentt, and so relevant. And that's why I love data privacy.Jamilla:
And would you say it's only going to kind of increase in importance, with, with all the fast paced technological changes that are going on, do you think data privacy is just going to become more and more important?Jamal:billion by:Jamilla:
Sounding more and more attractive to me. And so, one of the initiatives you set up is the PrivacyPros community and you've created that over Whatsapp and Facebook and it's bringing a lot of value to people. So could you tell me a bit more about why you felt you wanted to create the group and what you hope to achieve through it?Jamal:
At the moment, there is a group of people that have a winning mindset in one place. One of the things that really frustrated me on my journey is there's so many data protection data privacy study groups, but a lot of the people that have this very loser mindset where all the interest is, what can I get. I want to learn how to pass an exam, I mean there's people in there that thinks that that you know in an exam, someone's going to give them 60,000 pounds to get a job as a privacy consultant, it just doesn't happen. It's a little bit like saying, I'm going to learn karate. By reading the karate manual, and then I'm going to go and apply for a job as a karate instructor. It's just not going to happen right. If someone does hire you then good luck to them. Now, think about it this way. Let's just say you wanted to go for a minor operation. Yeah I mean let's just say you want to go from one operation, you go to the hospital and you're presented with two choices you can either pick the person who has things that are smart and they read the book and they've learnt how to pass the exam, or you can go and pick the person who's invested time, has invested energy, has invested money in their own education and development, and going through a formal process, which one are you going to trust with your health.Jamal:
Most likely the second one, and it's exactly the same when it comes to data privacy, so people are going to always go for the one who has gone through a formal training programme, who's got the credentials because they've been trained by an expert or pro, not because they learn how to pass an exam. Yeah, yeah, PrivacyPros community is about attracting people with the winning mindset that value in investing in themselves that value continuous professional development that actually want to give back to the world when it comes to all things data privacy so we've got global privacy experts from all over the world. These are people that are out there spending their time researching, writing articles to implement your own cases, these are people that want to make the world aware about what's happening, and we really want to give back so I've created a PrivacyPros community where we're attracting some of the best talent in data privacy, all over the world and bring them all in one place so we can come together to make a positive change and leave a lasting legacy.Jamal:
And one of the first initiatives that we did almost overnight was when WhatsApp made those changes, we found or privacy professionals, one in each continent. We brought them together, and we really delivered value to people and explained to people what these new privacy changes mean for WhatsApp, how it's going to impact you and about some alternatives so they had an informed choice about what they do moving forward, completely free of charge because that's how passionate people are, and that's the mindset, people in the PrivacyPros community have.Jamilla:
Amazing, thank you and thank you Jamal for joining me today.Jamal:
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