Data protection gone mad

anonymousPicking the correct driving partner on a car launch is one of the essential skills you pick-up as a motoring journalist.
It’s about trust. Mainly because you have to trust the person in control to know what to do if it goes a bit wrong. In fact, on the Kia Venga launch it was my co-driver CJ who was far more shaken than me – even though it was him in control (kind of).
So, there are two options to choose the ‘right’ driving partner. The ballsy option is to turn up at the event and hope that there’s someone you trust will to drive with you.
However, not being a big gambler, I prefer to sort out who I drive with before I get to the launch.
Now usually to find out who’s also attending a journalist phones the relevant press office and asks for a list of other hacks. You then pick one, drop them an email and if they think you’re a safe pair of hands – job done.
But for the first time in my 14-ish years attending car launches I have been refused the list of attendees. And, wait for it, for data protection reasons!
Apparently the press office concerned (and I’ve promised not to say which) is no longer allowed to send out said attendee list after a complaint – I assume from another journo.
What I can’t understand is why another motoring writer would want to be anonymous before the launch,
but I will endeavour to find out why.

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