Eighty percent of people concerned about their personal details online
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28 January 2011
A survey has
revealed that 80% of people are concerned about protecting their
personal information online, the Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) said today.
In a move to
mark European Data Protection Day, Information Commissioner,
Christopher Graham, supported by Lord McNally, Minister of State at the
Ministry of Justice, is urging people to take more care on social
networking sites, to think before giving out their personal details
online, and to understand what to do when things go wrong.
commissioned by the ICO has also found that 96% of individuals surveyed
are concerned that organisations do not keep their details secure, and
a further 60% believe that they have lost control of the way their
personal information is collected and processed.
online users understand how to surf safely, the ICO has today
relaunched its Personal
Information Toolkit. The
toolkit includes tips on how to protect personal details online as well
as setting out people’s rights to access and correct the information
that is held about them. The previous version of the toolkit has been
requested by over 100,000 members of the public to date.
importance of protecting yourself online isn’t just a lesson that
adults must learn. Educational events for school children are taking
place across the country
involving 5,000 secondary school children. I in Online is
a UK- wide scheme, spearheaded by law firm Speechly Bircham, that
provides schools and youth clubs across the UK with free interactive
training sessions developed for staff, parents and children to provide
advice on how best to manage online privacy.
Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
been more important to protect your personal information. Whether
you’re surfing the net, shopping online or signing up to social
networking sites, it’s crucial that people are thinking about how their
information might be used.
employers looking up potential employees on Facebook to cyber criminals
hacking into unsecured wifi networks, not protecting your personal
information can cause serious harm and distress. European Data
Protection Day is about motivating people to regain control of their
right to privacy. I hope people of all ages across the UK will do just
State for the Ministry of Justice, Lord McNally, said:
Protection Act has governed how our personal information is handled and
used for more than a decade, and the issue of keeping our personal data
safe is still as relevant as ever. Technology has come a long way since
the 1990s, but with fresh opportunities come fresh risks for our
personal information. This is why the Government is working with
businesses, charities, consumer groups and the public sector, to look
at the law and ensure it continues to protect our personal information
well into the 21st century.
addition to our work and that of the ICO, there is a huge amount that
people can do to arm themselves against misuse of data, such
theft. I would especially encourage people to make use of the ICO’s
Personal Information Toolkit, because knowing your rights and knowing
the risks really is the best way to protect yourself.”
privacy issues that people need to think about in order to protect
their personal information include:
•Make sure the information held about you is
accurate - you could be unfairly refused a job, benefits or credit, or
a place at college. You have a right to see and correct the information
that all organisations hold about you.
•Protect yourself on social networking sites –
anything you put on the sites may be publicly available so make sure
you use strict privacy settings if you don’t want everyone to see your
information. Think about what is appropriate too – a friend may not
want to be ‘tagged’ in your photo album so use common sense to avoid
•You can stop unwanted marketing – if you are
receiving electronic direct-marketing messages, phone calls, faxes,
emails, or texts, there are ways that you can make sure this doesn’t
•Read the small print – before you sign up to a
new website or buy a product make sure you check how the company will
use your information, including whether it will pass the information on
to third parties.
•Make sure your wifi connection is password
protected – not doing so puts your personal information at more risk
from hackers who could take your personal data to commit fraud or use
your connection to download illegal or inappropriate material.
•Make sure your information moves with you –
failing to redirect your mail could leave you open to identity theft.
1.The personal information toolkit is available
on the ICO website here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Practical_applica
is also available in Welsh here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Practical_applica
2.The ICO’s full research report is available on
the ICO website here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/research/corporate.aspx
3.The European Data Protection Supervisor has
published a video
on their website welcoming European Data
Protection Day. The video discusses the European Commissioner’s Review
of the Data Protection Legal Framework which the ICO has recently
4.The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds
information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public
bodies and data privacy for individuals.
5.The ICO has specific responsibilities set out
in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic
Communications Regulations 2003.
6.For more information about the Information
Commissioner’s Office subscribe to our e-newsletter at www.ico.gov.uk.
Alternatively, you can find us on Twitter
7.Anyone who processes personal information must
comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make
sure that personal information is:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with your rights
- Not transferred to other countries without
8.The Data Protection Act transposes the EU Data
Protection Directive (95/46/EC) into UK law. Viviane Reding,
Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice,
Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, is expected to bring forward a new
proposal for data protection in mid 2011.
9.The Government is publishing a response to its
Call for Evidence on the Data Protection Legislative Framework. The
Call for Evidence was launched on 6 July and closed on 6 October 2010.
Around 160 written responses were received from a range of members of
the public and organisations, including consumer groups, small
businesses, large international organisations and local and central
About the Author
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s
independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public
interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for
individuals. We do this by promoting good practice, ruling on
complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations and
taking appropriate action when the law is broken.
The ICO enforces and oversees the following
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Privacy and Electronic Communications
- Environmental Information Regulations
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-06-07 15:46:35 in Computer Articles
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