Over the course of my career I’ve been lucky to meet and become friends with many of the pioneers in the fields of Information Quality, Data Governance, and Data Protection. I have been doubly fortunate that some of these people have also become mentors – helping me to figure out what I wanted to do, and more importantly what I stood for, in the world of Information Management.
I had hoped one day to make the same connection with Caspar Bowden. Sadly that will not be possible now. This saddens me.
However, over the past few years, twitter has allowed me some level of contact with Caspar. It was often affirming to see him retweet one of my rants or rambles, or engage with me to clarify some point I was making or question I was raising. At times it felt like I was getting a gold star from teacher… “10/10 for effort… keep paying attention to the details”.
I have no doubt that, had we met, we’d probably have wound up arguing about something. I’m sure it would have been an argument I’d have lost. But it would have been fun (and educational) to have argued.
The world has lost a true pioneer, a prophet of the dark consequences of unfettered digital privacy invasion, and a staunch advocate for finding better ways to do things.
It is never easy to be an advocate swimming against the tide, as Caspar often seemed to be. However, sometimes the fight is worth fighting so that the pendulum finds a balance between rights, duties, and obligations in society, and so that people become more aware of the erosion of their privacy rights through legislative or technological changes.
So, if anyone in Ireland wants to remember Caspar Bowden, I can think of no better way then donating to Digital Rights Ireland or any of the other digital rights advocacy groups who fight the same fight that Caspar fought.
He may be gone but his spirit, and the fight, remain.