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FSA Conference 2010

The impressive Drapers’ Hall in the City of London was the venue for the first annual Fire and Security Association (FSA) Conference and Annual Dinner, which took place on 19 October 2010. Bringing together

representatives of the fire and security industry and associated organisations, the inaugural FSA Conference included a series of thought- provoking presentations, with interesting perspectives on key issues for the fire and security industries. From striking the balance between security and privacy and the value of third- party certification schemes, to informative insights from representatives of the police and the fire and rescue services, conference delegates were presented with a variety of views and opinions. In addition, a gala dinner

in the opulent Livery Hall afforded the opportunity for the FSA to pay tribute to outstanding contributions to the industry, with the presentation of this year’s Peter Greenwood Award and the FSA Award. As a specialist division of

the ECA, established in 2007, the FSA is now the largest UK representative body for companies that design, install, commission, maintain and monitor electronic security and fire detection systems. And it is among the fastest-growing specialist groups that have evolved from the ECA.

38 ECA Today Winter 2010

Call for cooperation n

Opening the inaugural FSA Conference, head of the FSA Stefan Hay welcomed FSA members and representatives and called for a new era of cooperation across representative bodies to safeguard and promote the future of the industry.

In his welcome address, Hay outlined the history of the FSA and its evolution as a specialist division of the ECA. As well as commenting on the FSA’s initiatives to promote excellence within the industry, including the extension of funding from the ECA training and education fund, Hay posed

questions about the future of the industry and the impact of recently announced government cuts. He called for the establishment of a coordinated forum of representative bodies that represent the interests of security and risk management professions, including both employees and employers. He said that the industry ‘can and must learn from the past’ and urged industry bodies to ‘demonstrate consistent and coherent leadership that is free from ego, free from self interest and free from confusion, and which benefits all of our members’. He

Stefan Hay

continued: ‘This will safeguard the public, our members’ clients and secure the very future of the industry.’

Privacy versus security n

Privacy and security: an impossible dream?

That was the question posed in the presentation by Jonathan Bamford, head of strategic liaison at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Bamford highlighted the

concerns of the public about Jonathan Bamford

the ‘surveillance society’, data protection and privacy, while acknowledging the demands for security that, in many cases, have led to the current situation. Getting the balance right was crucial, he said, so as not to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms security is supposed to be there to protect. He looked at the key issues

raised by the increasing amounts of personal information available at the click of a button. Bamford suggested that technological and procedural safeguards about data protection and privacy had lagged behind legal requirements. However, there was no

‘silver bullet’ solution, Bamford warned. Awareness and

understanding responsibilities for protecting personal data had to be improved, with practical tools made available to organisations to help compliance – something the ICO is working on, with privacy impact handbooks, the promotion of technological solutions, introduction of codes of practice, and so on. Effective enforcement of legislation and punishment was necessary too, so that breaches are taken seriously. He also called for more ‘privacy by design’ – building data protection into systems and within organisations rather than bolting it on – and for organisations to adopt a culture that ensures the importance of data protection.

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