Information Commissioner's Office
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ICO launches new data protection self-assessment tool for SMEs

The ICO has today launched a self-assessment tool that will help small and medium sized organisations (SMEs) to assess their compliance with the Data Protection Act.

The toolkit provides handy links to relevant guidance and further information, and will generate a rating based on responses.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said:

"Good data protection practice makes business sense. It can lead to better, more efficient customer service and help to protect and enhance your reputation. It could also help you avoid a fine from the ICO."

The easy-to-use toolkit may be completed as one comprehensive assessment that embraces the key obligations that SMEs have in relation to processing their customers' or clients' personal information. Alternatively, it can be broken down into separate checklists so users can tailor it to their organisation’s particular needs and risks.

Testimonials from SMEs about the toolkit 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  2. 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.
  3. The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
  4. 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;
  • secure; and
  • not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

5. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns

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