Kate Towsey – Stuff you collect about users

Stuff you collect about users: what you make, where it goes, and how to keep it safe

In engaging with users, it’s likely that you collect a lot of information about them. So where does it go? What should be kept securely, and what can be stored anywhere? Should you keep it at all? Particularly with the advent of GDPR, these are questions I hear all the time.

In this interactive session, we’ll do some quick mapping of all the things you collect about users: what you collect, where it ends up, and its touch points on the way. This may sound simple, but researchers are often surprised at what they learn. I often hear, “I had no idea I collected so much personal stuff!” We’ll do a short review of consistencies across researchers. The session will end with best practice tips from years of experience of working with big organisations on this very thing.

You’ll walk away with a better understanding of what constitutes personal data, what data you’re collecting and where it goes (plus the beginnings of a physical map to document it), a sense of how others in the industry are grappling with similar issues – you’re not alone – and tips for doing things better.

About Kate

Kate Towsey is a freelance user researcher and delivery lead. She specialises in designing and delivering secure user research infrastructure, such as labs, panels, archives and the like, and all the workflows that exist around them.

She is most often hired as an internal entrepreneur of sorts: known for thinking outside the box, forming spontaneous teams, bending rules and getting stuff done properly.