Who are we?

We set up “The Online Privacy Foundation” so that we could do something useful for society on a topic that we’re passionate about.

Currently we donate our spare time and whatever skills we can bring to the table to raise awareness within our local communities. Our aim is to carry out more extensive independent research projects on the impacts of internet technology, particularly in terms of online privacy and cyber psychology.

In addition to research, we aim to help community groups identify local security “experts” who’d be willing to share their knowledge within their communities for free.

This is who we are.


Matthew Shearing, Co-Founder & Chair
Matthew is Chair of the OPF’s Board of Trustees. Matthew
Chris Sumner, Co-Founder & Secretary
Chris has been directly involved in Corporate Information Security at Hewlett-Packard since 1999 and has maintained a passion for security throughouthis career. Chris is currently focused on Security in the Development Lifecycle and previously held the position of worldwide Security Manager for HP’s Imaging and Printing division. Outside the corporate world Chris’ interests include Cyberpsychology, Social Networks (a keen tweeter and facebooker), Data Mining and Visual Analytics.Chris has presented on the topic of Social Network security at the world leading security conferences, Blackhat, DEF CON and Security B Sidesand has appeared on UK national television and in the UK national press on the topic of identity theft.Chris is a member of the OPF’s Board of Trustees, holding the official position of Board Secretary. Photo of Chris
Gill Empringham, Co-Founder & HR Advisor
Gill has been working in International Human Resources for over 15 years, most recently Gill was a Regional Human Resources Director for a Fortune100 company. She left in late 2010 to start her own Human Resources interim consultancy, balancing her work life with her young family. Gill has extensive employee relations experience, including the use of the internet and data privacy, and has advised many organisations on steps to take with employees and use of Social Media as well as looking at potential data privacy breaches.A keen tweeter, facebooker and linkediner, Gil is part of a HR focus group that is focusing on how organisatons can use Social Media to their advantage.Closely linked to this, Gill is keen to raise awareness among the general public around how organisations are beginning to use social media and what informed choices they can make about their use of social media, particularly in regard to potential damage to their reputations (on and offline). Gill is a member of the OPF Board of Trustees. Gill
Alison Byers, Chief Statistician
Alison is a Civil Servant and statistician with a keen interest in privacy issues. Having spent time working for the Defence and the Health sectors, she is fully aware of the power of information and the steps that should be taken to care for individual level data. With a degree in Experimental Psychology, she also has a keen interest in human behaviour and is fascinated by the effects of culture, religion, emotion, authority, genetics and social norms on people and their actions, thoughts and beliefs.

Gregory Park, Research Psychologist
Gregory is a research psychologist with interests in personality, well-being, and quantitative methods. He is particularly interested in how behavior including our use of social media reveals our psychological traits, states, and other seemingly private information.  Park_bio_pic

Chris Byrne, Public Policy Advisor
Chris is a Public servant and researcher with a passion for government policy analysis. A graduate of History he has an extensive knowledge of modern policy procedures within the UK and internationally. A big technophile Chris is driven to see increasing critical analysis of developments within the digital arena discussed more openly within the public sphere. His other interests include the role of the ‘digital age’ on globalisation, national governments and modern media. 

Paul Jackson, Legal & Data Protection Advisor
Paul is a former teacher and now civil servant dealing with data protection, freedom of information and privacy matters. He has a particular interest in how the internet and social media could transform the conventional classroom.

Kirstie Green, Creative Consultant
Kirstie enjoyed a 20 year career in the Market Research agency sector, with a variety of operational roles including sampling, data collection, data processing, technical support, training and consultancy. She specialises in survey scripting for online data collection.
To date, she continues her MR work in a freelance capacity whilst completing a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Bath Spa University.

Advisory Council

Adrian, Security & Privacy Advisor
Adrian is an active and respected member of the world wide Information Security community. He regularly assists at the world leading ‘DEF CON’ security conference and is the co-organiser of the monthly ‘DEF CON London’ (DC4420) meetings. He holds 2 degrees, a Bachelors with Honours in Computer Science, and an Information Security Masters degree from Royal Holloway. Adrian has been an Information Security Consultant/Security Architect across a large number of industries for over 10 years and is currently working for a FTSE10 company.
Matt Stillwell, Graphics Design
Matt has spent the last 15 years being as creative as humanly possible to make tutors, friends and clients as happy as he is. After working for a medium-size multiple-media agency Matt set up his own company, Habanero Design, along side his partner in design, Chris Bruty, and has been firing out visual gems ever since for local, national and international clients. A long term user of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (to the point of being one of those annoying online friends, you know the type) Matt is probably the worst person to ask about online privacy. If he puts it online he, probably naively, wants want everyone to see it! He is, however, interested in the research that the Online Privacy Foundation are doing and was happy to design a lovely logofor the cause.

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