There are many times in life when you suddenly realise that something you had always accepted as reality is not the case.

As a young child you often believe your parents are always right.  You believe them when they say that Santa won’t bring you gifts unless you’re good and that the Tooth Fairy brings money in exchange for teeth. As you get older you may realise that no matter how good your relationship is with your parents, they are not perfect, and they don’t have all the answers.

As a parent you get used to being the centre of your child’s universe and it can take time to adjust when they take more notice of friends and partners than they do of you.

As a solicitor, I’ve always known that the system isn’t perfect, but it still amazes me how hard it can be to persuade clients and contacts that nothing is ever guaranteed in my world.

Take, for example, GDPR. Thinking back to when the new rules were introduced, I was the guest speaker at a number of events aimed at small businesses who were struggling to understand what their obligations were. They would often tell me what they had read on the ICOs website and I would explain that the ICO were not the final word. Part of their job was to interpret the law and give guidance but that didn’t automatically mean they were always going to be right, especially in those early days when we were all finding our way. Since then I have commented a number of times on decisions that have gone against them. Not to discrete or undermine them, but to demonstrate that these things are never black and white.

Most recently the ICO have served some very wide reaching enforcement notices against Experian, which the Tribunal have set aside. The notices have now been replaced with something much more limited.

So like our parents and our children, even the big authorities get it wrong. That doesn’t mean we should ignore them or fail to take them seriously but it does mean it’s ok to stand up for ourselves and challenge them if the need arises. It also means that organisations like the ICO do not have all the power.

Kleyman and Co solicitors. The full service law firm. More reliable than the Easter Bunny! Or was this just an excuse to show off the picture that I took when I was invited to the Playboy Club?