Interview with Eric Bedell of Franklin Templeton Investments

2020-02-17, by Julia Bialek, Head of GDPR Conference, EIPS
Eric Bedell

Today, we would like to introduce Mr Bedell, Chief Privacy Officer and FTIS Conducting Officer EMEA/ Luxembourg at Franklin Templeton Investments, who will lead a working group on “The role and challenges of a Global DPO setting up a Global Privacy Program” at GDPR+2 Conference.
Thank you for answering some questions in advance.

Mr. Eric Bedell, could you briefly introduce yourself to us?

Professional in the Data Privacy and Security field for more than 17 years and presently managing a Global Data Privacy Program for a global US asset manager, I believe privacy is one of the most important factors for trust and liberty, and managed my programs, as such. My previous experiences include managing technical subjects in Data Privacy and Security, as well as, business metrics and reports. Doing so, I concluded that a pragmatic approach to privacy is a must and the implementation of a series of one-off projects, one after the other, without clear targets will result in failure.

1.To what extent has data protection influenced the corporate culture of your company or of your clients?

As many companies, our privacy program evolved quickly to comply with GDPR. From that moment, this has become a company wide effort, and therefore impacted the culture of all locations (even outside EU). I must admit that first, the fines fear was the most important driver, but it was shortly replaces by the customer care argument and after by the potential cost savings. Now, privacy is pretty much a subject in all conversations around new processes, business models or even new third parties contracts. It has become a norm as compliance is in general.

2. What was the biggest challenge for your company or your clients when implementing the GDPR?

The budget and amount of impacted resources was definitely the most challenging part. We wanted to be compliant but not “kill” the business at the same time. Also, as GDPR was not entirely clear on all topics, we had to take views that are still re-evaluated until clarity is given by Authorities.

3. What was the most important lesson you or your clients learned in the course of the practical application of the GDPR?

I would say that interactions between us and our clients didn’t changed too much. But we believe than offering more transparency on privacy, would reinforce the trust. In our business (asset management), Trust is essential ! On the other hand, we learned that when it comes to managing personal data in our environment, every parties are interconnected and have one piece of the puzzle.

We thank you for the interview and look forward to your working group at the GDPR+2 – The European Data Protection Conference on May 28th 2020.