Under the Data Protection Act, any business, organisation or sole trader handling personal individual information has a legal obligation to protect this data. According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), consumers are showing an increasing awareness of how their data should be handled, with a knock on effect to their attitude towards businesses. It prompted the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, to say that in order to succeed in 2013 businesses will need to realise the commercial importance of handling customer data correctly.
An ICO study found:
- 97 per cent of individuals are concerned that organisations will either pass or sell on their personal details
- Only 10 per cent of businesses are aware of the legal restrictions when it comes to using their customers’ personal data
- More than half (53 per cent) of individuals considered minor details, such as the products they had bought, to be personal information.
Steps towards complying with the data protection act
If your business handles data about customers, you may want to review:
- What type of data you hold. Is it personal or sensitive data?
- The types of data that are protected under the Data Protection Act
- How your business processes this data
- Whether the data you hold requires you to register with the ICO.
These are just some aspects of data protection compliance for businesses. Please get in touch to discuss these matters further.