Mary-Jo de Leeuw
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Mary-Jo de Leeuw
|Job title of nominated professional||Associate partner|
|Company (where nominated professional or team is working)||Revnext|
|Company size (employees)||10 to 49|
In 3 bullets, summarize why this professional or team deserves recognition:
* She banned out Internet of Toys out of the Dutch stores by proving that connected toys are eavesdropping and recording all kinds of conversations within peoples homes: it is therefore not surprisingly that Mary-Jo founded the Dutch think tank Internet of Toys. A think and do tank where scientist, toys manufacturers and members of parliament meet and discuss the breaches within toys and also the lack of privacy legislation within it.
Mary-Jo de Leeuw has been fascinated by bits and bytes ever since she got a Commodore 64 back in the ‘80’s. From a very young age onwards, she has been manipulating and hacking digital systems, games and toys. As she tried to build and alter her very own Mario1 game, she got nicknamed ‘Mario’ instead of ‘Mary-Jo’. Later, as a student, she discovered how she could manipulate Interactive Voice Response Systems to get herself in front of telephone queues and hacked her way into cheaper printing machines to help herself and fellow students save money. Mary-Jo never lost her rebellious streak as an adult. In 2014 she founded the Platform Internet of Toys, a community which raises awareness on the security of connected toys. In the platform, toy manufacturers, scientists, hackers and legislators meet up and discuss security- and privacy breaches within toys. Furthermore the platform works to get legislations and standards for secure toys in place.
In 2015 Mary-Jo de Leeuw reprogrammed a toy doll to speak like a terrorist and switched on microphones and cameras in popular toys from a distance. Partly because of Mary-Jo’s efforts, this dangerous toy has been banned from toy stores in the Netherlands today. The efforts for the Platform Internet of Toys gained Mary-Jo, or Mario, yet another nickname: ‘Rebel with a Cause’. Today this rebel is a well-known and very much appreciated thought leader in the infosec world. She publishes regularly on her findings, speaks at international conferences such as the Telegraph Cyber Security Conference (London)
and is the go-to media expert on everything concerning her old passion ‘bits and bytes’.