Speaker’s Biographies

The BARONESS SHIELDS OBE (Joanna Shields) is a leading technology industry executive, entrepreneur and public servant, currently serving as UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.Baroness Shields spent over 25 years building some of the world’s best-known technology companies, including Electronics for Imaging, RealNetworks, Google, Aol and Facebook, as well as leading several start-ups to successful acquisitions, including Bebo, Decru and Veon.  She was most recently Digital Adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, Chairman of Tech City UK and non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Group. Prior to that, she was Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook in Europe, Middle East and Africa and oversaw the growth of the platform to over 1 billion users. She has also served as President of People Networks at Aol, a position she assumed after leading acquisition of Bebo by Time Warner’s Aol unit for $850 million; and as a Managing Director for Google Europe, Russia, Middle East & Africa.In July 2013 Computer Weekly named Baroness Shields The Most Influential Woman in the UK IT industry. She was No. 1 in Wired Magazine’s 2011 most important people in the digital world.  In 2014 she was recognized in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours with the Order of the British Empire for services to the digital industries and for her voluntary service to young people.

Lord Erroll (Merlin) is a cross-bench peer of the House of Lords, Chief of Scottish clan Hay, and hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland.  He plays an active role in thought leadership in the ICT arena, especially around Cybersecurity, Intellectual Property, Broadband and the Internet.

He worked for many years in software development, as well as spending 22 years in the Territorial Army. In Parliament he takes a particular interest in ICT, Countryside & the Environment, the Constitution and Scottish matters.

He is active in several Parliamentary groups, especially looking at the impact of regulation on business and the internet, linking this with a Local Authority perspective through LASSeO (Local Authority Smartcard Standards e-Organisation). He is a member of PICTFOR (Parliamentary ICT Forum), and Chairs the Digital Policy Alliance (EURIM) and the All-Party Group on Entrepreneurship.

He sits on several Advisory Boards, including Flexeye, Technology Strategy Board funded projects the Hyper/CAT Consortium & the EyeHub Consortium.

Earlier in his career, he became a Lieutenant at Atholl Highlanders, a member of the Royal Company of Archers, and was an Honorary Colonel of the RMPTA. He was inducted into the Infosecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dr Rachel O’Connell, Founder & CEO of Trust Elevate.com an online safety and identity assurance consultancy.Rachel is one of the preeminent authorities on electronic identification and age verification and her PhD focused on online criminal activity and the implications for investigative strategies. She is the former chief safety officer of BEBO, one of the first mainstream social media platforms and speaks frequently at technology events on all issues related to online identity be it age verification or how large technology companies should engage more on child protection issues online. In addition to having headed up the Cyberspace Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire for 7 years (1999 – 2006), Rachel is also an advisor to the start-up community platform Founders (F6s.com), was a board member on ReachOut.com (online mental health initiative) and has run pan-European projects funded by the European Commission that developed Internet safety education. Rachel has also worked on projects for the following organisations for Cloud Security Alliance and the Oxford Internet Institute and is an advisor to the Executive Board of UKCCIS on Age Verification Solutions and chairs the Requirements working group of the Digital Policy Alliance’s Age Verification Group. 

Dr Victoria Nash is the Deputy Director and Policy and Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII). In the latter role, she is responsible for connecting OII research with policy and practice. Her particular research interests draw on her background as a political theorist, and concern the theoretical and practical application of fundamental liberal values in the Internet era. Recent projects have included efforts to map the legal and regulatory trends shaping freedom of expression online for UNESCO, analysis of age verification as a tool for balancing the interests of children and adults online, and the role of information and Internet access in the development of moral autonomy. She is also Course Director of the OII’s Summer Doctoral Programme. Prior to joining the OII in 2002, Vicki was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy Research. She received her D.Phil in Politics from Nuffield College, Oxford University in 1999, having completed an M.Phil in Politics from Magdalen College in 1996, and a BA (Hons) Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics before this.

Don Thibeau is Founder and Chairman of The Open Identity Exchange (Open Identity Exchange), a non-profit trade organization comprised of global leaders from competing commercial sectors, including the Internet (Google, PayPal, etc.), data aggregation (Equifax, Experian, etc.), and telecommunications (AT&T, Verizon, etc.), as well as a broad range of industry innovators and international organizations like HMG’s Cabinet Office in the UK. OIX was the first U.S. Government approved trust framework provider and has since become a global center of excellence for the identity trust layer of online transactions. As a test bed for business, legal and technical policies in the emerging identity ecosystem, OIX enables the expansion of Internet services and the rapid deployment of new online products.Don works closely with the U.S. National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace initiative’s Identity Ecosystem Steering Group and Co-Chairs the UK Identity Assurance Program Identity Steering Group. He is Co-Chair of the OASIS Electronic Identity Credential Trust Elevation Methods Technical Committee. He serves as an independent director and as an advisor to companies including Brand (ark), the Experian Identity Solutions Advisory Council, among other industry advisory roles. Since 2009, Don has served as Executive Director of the OpenID Foundation. The OpenID Foundation’s membership represents leaders from key online (e.g. Google), enterprise (e.g. Microsoft), and social media (e.g. Facebook) platforms. Don leads efforts for the market adoption of OpenID Connect and other open source Internet identity technology through the Foundation’s initiatives.During his career, Don also held senior management positions with Qsent, LexisNexis and TransUnion. As a former US Presidential appointee, Don has testified before Congress on data privacy and permissible use issues. He is a speaker at industry events and publishes white papers on data privacy, identity technologies, and related regulatory issues. Don is Co-Founder and early stage investor in TRUSTID and an independent advisor to internet identity start-ups.

Pat Manson (tbc) Patricia Manson is Head of Unit, Inclusion, Skills and Youth, in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission. As such she is responsible for the Commission’s research and innovation projects on ICT and learning, and for those on the use of ICT for inclusion, e-accessibility and assistive technologies. The unit is also responsible for the Commission’s strategy on a Better Internet for Children and for the Safer Internet Programme. She has worked at the European Commission since the early 90s on ICT applications areas in the Community’s research programmes. Prior to joining the Commission she worked in the UK on a research-funded post providing technology and market watch, as well as information and advisory services to the cultural heritage community on the adoption of ICTs.

Andrea Servida (tbc)Joined the European Commission in 1993 and since January 2006 he is Deputy Head of the Unit “Internet; Network and Information Security” in the Information Society and Media Directorate-General. Besides co-managing the Unit, he is in charge of defining and implementing the strategies and policies on network and information security, critical information infrastructure protection and, last but not least, electronic signature. He also coordinates the team responsible for the European network and Information Agency (ENISA).Until 2005, he worked in the Information Society Technologies Thematic Priority of FP6 with management responsibilities for the research activities on security and dependability technologies and applications. In the 5th Framework Programme, he has been in charge of shaping up and co-ordinating at the Programme level the initiative on Dependability in Information Society (called DEPPY), including the preparation and management of related Cross Programme Actions calls for proposals and evaluation. This initiative focused on large scale information infrastructures and on extensively deployed networked embedded systems. Before joining the European Commission he has worked in industry for nearly eight years as a project manager of a number of international R&D projects on decision support systems for environmental, civil and industrial emergency and risk management. He graduated with Laude in Nuclear Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and carried out PhD studies on fuzzy sets and artificial intelligence at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. 

Peter Wanless is the chief executive of the NSPCC, a charity whose vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK. He is advancing the NSPCC’s efforts to demonstrate through evidence and practice better ways of protecting children from abuse, preventing abuse from occurring and transforming attitudes through essential legislative and behaviour change. Services include ChildLine (there 24/7 for any young person with nowhere else to turn) the NSPCC Helpline (there 24/7 for any adult concerned about a child) and direct to vulnerable children and families via its network of service centres.

He was the Big Lottery Fund’s Chief Executive between 2008 and 2013 and was previously a Director at the Department of Education in Whitehall.

Peter is married with a teenage son. He is on the Board at Somerset County Cricket Club. He was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for distinguished public service.

Sandy Porter, Director Business Strategy, Avoco Secure, UK An internationally respected security, privacy, identity and technology expert advisor and speaker. Recent events he has spoken at include the Bloomberg summit, the Smartcard Alliance UCID conference, EEMA identity conferences, OIX US identity conference and the Swiss financial security forum. He has promoted the development and deployment of user centric identity for online services in his roles as an Identity Commons Steward, Co-chair of the claims agent group, Director of the Information Card Foundation, EU R&D assessor and moderator and through the UK Government Cabinet Office (DSG) work groups and the mobile GSMA identity workgroups. His Specialties are: Identity, privacy, security and cloud computing solutions for consumer and citizen online services.

Dr Louise Bennett started her career as a scientist modelling weather patterns and forecasting locust plagues in Africa. She then moved into operations research and real time computing for aircraft systems in the Ministry of Defence. Over the last 25 years she has been an IT & R&D director (Thorn EMI, Logica, AEA Technology, Vivas).  She currently does a portfolio of jobs. She is a Trustee of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets. She chairs the BCS Security Community of Expertise and Identity Assurance Working Group.  She also sits on: the CO Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group for the identity assurance programme, the ICO Technology Reference Panel, and is an expert advisor for the European Commission R&D programme.  Her consulting focuses on: strategic and corporate governance, the exploitation and ethical use of new technology and risk management.  Her latest work includes identity assurance and payments on the Internet, developing resilient organisations, from environmental, security and privacy perspectives (including information assurance and fraud prevention).

Robin Wilton brings 28 years of industry experience to the role of Technical Outreach Director for Identity and Privacy, in the Internet Society’s Trust and Identity Initiatives group. Since 2001 he has specialised in digital identity, privacy and public policy, building a reputation as a thought leader, communicator and translator between different stakeholder groups. Before joining the Internet Society Robin spent two years as a research analyst in Gartner’s Identity and Privacy Strategies team, where – in addition to his privacy work – he specialised in public key infrastructure, electronic signature, single sign-on and federated identity. Robin’s experience includes: 12 years with IBM in systems engineering, technical support and consulting roles, at the UK and EMEA level; 3 years as Principal Consultant at JCP Trustbase Ltd, a start-up specialising in Java cryptography and PKI-enabling middleware; 8 years with Sun Microsystems in technical pre-sales and the CTO team; 18 months establishing Future Identity Ltd. as an independent consultancy on privacy and digital identity. During his time at Future Identity he was also Director of Privacy and Public Policy for the Kantara Initiative.

Susan Morrow is Head of Research and Development at Avoco Secure Ltd. Susan is involved in the design of Cloud based, verified, consumer identities for use by governments and commercial organizations. She has She is involved in the Kantara Initiative and in particular the UMA protocol – User Managed Access – design team and has worked in the sub group developing out the Trust Model for the protocol. Susan recently wrote a chapter in a book published by Wiley Science on Cloud Security. She has patents pending for security software related inventions and has published a number of papers in the data security area. Susan is currently working on Cloud identity systems for young citizens in the UK.

Chris Field is the Chief Marketing Officer of Yoti, a groundbreaking digital identity system which is free to use for individuals and provides secure verification based on passports and other trusted identity documents.


Chris studied at Arabic Durham University and has over 10 years experience of marketing and developing not-for-profit organisations and technology companies, most recently working with JustGiving to develop their expansion into new global markets.


Outside of Yoti, Chris is Chair of the Cyclists’ Defence Fund and volunteers with a number of small charities to help them make the most of new developments in technology.

Peter Seymour is a payments and government specialist with a background in the reuse of payments infrastructures in the government and regulated space. After 14 years with Bacs, Voca, VocaLink innovating, inflencing and building propositions around financial inclusion, real time information, tax and welfare reform, identity, payment fraud and error, consumer switching, etc. Peter is now independently providing insight into how policy, technology and reuse can combine to solve government efficiency, reform and regulatory challenges such as age verification.

Professor Carsten Maple is Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering and Director of Research in Cybersecurity at the University of Warwick.  Professor Maple has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and is co-author of the UK Security Breach Investigations Report 2010, supported by the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Police Central e-crime Unit. Carsten is also co-author of Cyberstalking in the UK, a report supported by the Crown Prosecution Service and Network for Surviving Stalking. His research has attracted millions of pounds in funding and has been widely reported through the media.  He has given evidence to government committees on issues of anonymity, child safety online. He works with various departments such as the Association of Chief Police Officers, the College of Policing, Interpol, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, to name a few.  Professor Maple is Vice Chair of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing in the UK.

Helen Doyle is Director of Research & Customer Policy at Payments UK – the trade association for the evolving and growing payments industry. 


Helen’s team provides the authoritative industry-wide picture of the current and future profile of the UK payment markets and ensures thatPayments UK’s policy is evidence-led and grounded in customer requirements. 


Helen has particular expertise in how customers experience payments, their requirements when making and receiving payments and how they expect payments to work. In addition she is an expert on financial inclusion issues within the payments sector. She has led industry research on issues such as the use of electronic payment services by older people, disabled people and low income consumers as well work to understand what consumers and businesses will want and need from future payment services.

Robert Johnson, Chairman and Co-Founder of Telecom2 Ltd

For the first part of his career he built and ran successful Direct Marketing businesses using traditional print media to build databases and drive leads into call centres with database driven marketing. The focus of this commerce was always technology driven and developed in house rather than outsourced, this meant that his businesses were ideally position to be early adopters of both the Internet and subsequently the Mobile Internet opportunities. Rob was effective in creating successful ventures based on first-to-market technologies.

With Telecom2 Rob has effectively jumped over the fence, from service provision to service facilitator. More recently in response to a request from a DRTV client Telecom2 has developed the VeriMe age checking technology. This technology utilises the mobile phone as the interactive tool, and allows clients to obtain some degree of age assurance from the end user, the popularity of VeriMe as a light touch low cost AV methodology has surpassed all expectations. Rob has served on a variety of interactive media industry bodies and spoken at leading global technology conferences, Telecoms and Billing are in his blood.


William Heath is an entrepreneur active in personal data and digital rights. He is Chairman of Mydex Community Interest Company. He co-founded Ctrl-Shift Ltd, Kable Ltd (now part of PMG) and The Bell Inn (Bath) Co-op. He’s part of a team trying to buy out Bath City FC so it can operate as a Community Benefit Society. He’s an adviser to Open Rights Group, FIPR and The Dextrous Web and a Fellow of the Young Foundation.

Abhilash Nair is a Lecturer in Internet Law at University of Strathclyde with a main area of expertise is internet law, with specific reference to censorship, children’s rights, and privacy. Mr Nair has published widely on internet law and regulation and is a regular speaker at international conferences. As well has being Deputy Editor of the leading IT law journal, the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology he is a member of the Executive Committee of the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (www.bileta.ac.uk) and a registered expert on the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme. Abhilash is a member of the Information Society Network at the Centre for European Governance, University of Exeter, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Current research focus is on the issue of regulating Internet pornography generally, and the protection of children in this context.

Steve Pannifer is Head of Consulting at Consult Hyperion – thought leaders in digital money and digital identity. Steve works with financial institutions, mobile operators, governments and technology start-ups on technology innovation in the areas of consumer-centric identity management, mobile payments and crypto-currencies. Recent projects include an innovative trading platform providing both anonymity and transparency, a cloud-based mobile payments service using new technology to secure the consumer’s mobile device and the use of data attribute exchange to increase assurance in internet payments. Steve has a background in transaction security including EMV payments security and high assurance messaging services for the capital markets.

John Marsden is currently responsible for the commercial development of Equifax UK’s Identity and Fraud business. John started his career with Barclaycard Merchant Services, providing a great foundation for understanding the needs of businesses and consumers in the face of fraud exposure. From these formative years he moved into Credit Risk data with Experian and, then more specifically, focusing on ID and Fraud with Equifax. Throughout John’s career he has been involved with the very first eCommerce retailers in the UK, complex application processing systems for major Banks, Government Departments, Insurers, Telecommunications, Peer to Peer Finance and many more besides. The ever-changing threats posed by fraudsters, using complex digital connectivity alongside traditional methods, and balanced against the need to provide the very best of service to the genuine consumer provides an ever-changing landscape where technology and data science mean the difference to the success of a business. It is this challenge that has engaged and driven John.

Pat Walshe is currently an independent consultant with over eighteen years experience in data protection, privacy, interception and disclosure law in the fixed, mobile and Internet sectors.

As the former Director of Privacy for the GSM Association Pat developed and led mobile industry initiatives to foster trust among key stakeholder groups and to ensure privacy is designed into products and services. He authored global privacy principles, mobile application privacy design guidelines and an accountability framework for the GSMA and members.

Pat is currently advising clients on mobile identity solutions, among other matters.

Pat has a degree in Social Anthropology and Development and holds privacy and information security audit qualifications. He has served on the International Standard Organisation’s Privacy Steering Committee and is a member of the British Computer Society. He is also a member of the Global Pulse Privacy Advisory Group on big data, a former member of an external ethics panel for a leading mobile operator on the use of big data for development, and also sits on the international advisory board for the Adaptive Security and Privacy project. The Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario also recently made Pat a Privacy By Design Ambassador.


Pete Johnson has been Chief Executive of The Authority for Television On Demand  (ATVOD) since its Designation by Ofcom in March 2010 as the co-regulatory authority with responsibility for editorial content in On-Demand Programme Services.  In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that UK video on demand services comply with the requirements of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive as they apply to editorial content.He was previously Head of Policy and Business Development at the British Board of Film Classification, where he was responsible for all aspects of regulatory policy and research, and for the development of new classification services for both packaged media and video on demand providers.

Emma Lindley is one of the leading experts in electronic identity verification and associated process compliance. With over 14 years’ experience working with technology led identity and compliance systems, she has in-depth knowledge of electronic identity verification (eIDV), anti-money laundering (AML), age verification, digital identity management and ID Assurance schemes.Emma has been instrumental in furthering the global debate on age and identity verification having worked with the UK Government in 2004 to help shape “best practice” guidelines for age and identity verification. She has worked with regulators throughout Europe including those from Denmark, Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney and the Isle of Man enabling a better understanding of how age and identity verification and regulation can be achieved using the latest technologies and processes.Emma was previously at GB Group PLC a UK based global identity verification company leading a team responsible for the development of their global identity verification services and has worked with the Cabinet Office for Gov.UK Verify supporting the development and launch of the UK’s digital identity assurance Scheme.

 Dr Andrew Rudd has delivered market-leading change in the Telecom and FMCG sectors since the early 90’s. Latterly as our digital economy has accelerated, he has specialised in Mobile Identity as an enabler of simpler customer journeys.In 2014 he delivered the UK’s first Mobile Identity gateway with the GSMA, EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and the Cabinet Office (UK Government). Additionally, he led the establishment of the 2 year NSTIC pilot programme on Mobile Identity with the US Government, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and the OIX. Andrew is Co-Founder of AssureUK, which will deliver a permission-based attribute exchange for the leading sectors of the UK digital economy. 

Sarah Munro is Head of Digital Identity for Barclays where she is leading the team to become the first bank to become an identity provider to the UK Government as part of the GOV.UK Verify (Identity Assurance Programme). Additionally Sarah is working with the Digital Catapult as part of their Trust Framework Initiative, sitting on its steering committee and an active contributor to the OIX to drive the creation of digital identity eco-system in the UK.

Stuart Abrahams joined Groupcall in April 2008. Before that he spent over 5 years at Pearson PLC as Sales & Marketing Director for the Phoenix business unit. In total Stuart has over 15 years’ experience of technology in the education sector.

Specialising in areas including communication, education management systems, system integration, technology infrastructures and management, managed services, Internet security and connectivity. Stuart has also been elected to the BESA Executive Council for the next 2 years.

Tony Connell is currently Programme Director for Royal Mail’s entry into the digital identity space primarily focused on leading their launch as an identity provider to the UK Government as part of GOV.UK Verify initiative. He has experience in commercial innovation and strategy especially around data, analytics and digital services across a broad range of industries and verticals having previously undertaken leadership roles with FICO, Visa Europe and Experian globally. In addition to the current role with Royal Mail he also advises the private equity and venture capital communities as well as several blue chip organisations such as Royal Mail on organic and inorganic commercial and market opportunities. He is a lover of all things data and digital and how they can be combined with people and process to create real value especially in the worlds of customer behaviour, identity, risk and fraud.

Katherine Devlin is the President of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, the longest running e-cigarette trade association anywhere in the world. Together with ECITA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Tom Pruen, she produced the Industry Standard of Excellence in 2010, the first ever  e-cigarette industry standard. It was backed up by a rigorous auditing process that remains in place today, and is still used by Trading Standards as a guide for their enforcement work. Katherine and Tom provided Technical Authorship for PAS 54115, the first comprehensive guide to electronic cigarette standards in the world, published by the British Standards Institution in July 2015.

Dennis Ager is a senior policy analyst at Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO). In his current role, Dennis is involved in project and programme management, policy development and stakeholder engagement in the UK and overseas.

Dennis represents the BRDO in its policy-lead role in relation to age restricted products regulation and established and continues to coordinate a national expert panel comprising of local authority regulators from England, Wales and Scotland, businesses, the police, policy officials and other stakeholders.

The panel has identified ways in which the business experience of regulation can be improved and has presented a report to Government with a number of recommendations for further improvements Dennis’s current role involves working overseas in developing markets to support governments improve their regulatory infrastructure, to attract foreign investment and grow international trade.

Chris Ratcliff is Managing Director of adult broadcaster, Portland TV, which operates TV and on demand services across Sky, Freeview and Virgin. He has worked in the regulated adult sector since 1995, having been involved with the launch of Television X. He went on to establish leading R18 distribution company Hot Rod Productions, before re-joining Portland in 2007 as Programming Director.

Chris was a founding member of the Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) and sat as a non-independent on the Board of ATVOD (the Authority for Television On Demand.) He currently chairs the Adult Provider Network – a coalition of regulated UK-based on demand operators. Chris also sits on the Council of the Digital Policy Alliance – the cross-party policy voice of the internet and technology sector. He is industry lead on the DPA’s Age Verification group which is working to develop a Publicly Available Specification for age verification in association with the British Standards Institution.