Information Commissioner's Office
Consumers concerned about how their personal details are shared, survey shows
Launch of ICO Corporate Plan setting out priorities for 2015-18
The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, says companies must do more to inform consumers about the way their information is being shared.
The Commissioner’s comments come as new figures show that 85% of people are concerned about how their personal information is passed or sold to other organisations. The survey also shows 77% of people are concerned about organisations not keeping their personal details secure.
The UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said yesterday:
“Providing people with enough information to understand how their details will be used is a basic principle of data protection. While the vast majority of companies are meeting the letter of the law, figures released today show that most people remain concerned about how their information is being shared. This situation is not good for consumers, or for businesses.
“We are set for a new data protection framework in the next three years, but there are still basic things that organisations can be doing today, not only to comply with the current legislation, but also to prepare for the future regulatory landscape.
“Businesses should take the results of our survey as a prompt to address consumers’ concerns and provide clearer information to explain when people’s details will be shared and with whom. Getting these basics right today will not only improve consumer trust but also help a business along the road to future compliance.”
Mr Graham’s comments come as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published its corporate plan. The plan sets out the ICO’s priorities for 2015-18. These priorities include:
- preparing for a period of substantial change with the implementation of a new EU data protection framework and the outcome of the Ministry of Justice’s Triennial Review;
- developing and promoting an ICO privacy seal scheme as a means of demonstrating a commitment to good data protection practices; and
- engaging with transparency and Open Data initiatives to ensure a balanced information rights perspective.
The ICO’s Annual Track survey was undertaken by ComRes on behalf of the ICO. The survey involved carrying out online interviews with1,575 individuals for their views on data protection matters.
The ICO has published a quiz that you can take part in to find out how much you know about people’s attitudes towards how their personal information is used.
The survey also involved asking 1,422 people for their thoughts on freedom of information issues. The key findings from this section of the survey were:
- 75% of respondents think it’s important that private companies acting on behalf of public authorities should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
- 79% of people think it’s important that the regulator is independent of government.
Mr Graham said:
“The ICO has to find the right balance of the public interest – between openness to the outside and necessary frankness inside organisations. These decisions are not straightforward and are sometimes controversial, but as guardians of the public interest we are properly accountable to Parliament and the courts.”
Notes to Editors
About the ICO
- The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- 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.
- The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more in the ICO blog and e-newsletter.Our Press Office page provides more information for journalists.
- 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 adequate protection
About the ComRes survey
- The surveys were conducted between 15th and 21st August 2014 by ComRes. The full dataset is available on the ComRes website at www.comres.co.uk
- ComRes (www.comres.co.uk) is a leading research consultancy and founding member of the British Polling Council.
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
UK Information Commissioner warns against 2024 becoming the year people lose trust in AI06/12/2023 16:25:00
UK Information Commissioner, John Edwards, will today warn that 2024 could be the year people lose trust in AI – and call on tech developers to embed privacy into their products from the very start.
John Edwards speaks at TechUK Digital Ethics Summit 202306/12/2023 15:20:00
Information Commissioner John Edwards’ keynote speech at TechUK’s Digital Ethics Summit 2023, delivered on 6 December 2023.
How data protection law can prevent harm in the housing sector06/12/2023 09:10:00
Blog posted by: Helen Raftery, Head of Data Protection Complaints, 05 December 2023.
We looked into text pests and here's what we found01/12/2023 12:25:00
Blog posted by: Emily Keaney, 29 November 2023.
ICO reprimands council for disclosing domestic abuse victim’s details to ex-partner29/11/2023 16:15:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to Charnwood Borough Council after it disclosed the new address of a domestic abuse victim to her ex-partner.
Hospitals urged to improve data protection standards following incident at NHS Fife29/11/2023 09:10:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to NHS Fife, after an unauthorised person was able to enter a ward and access the personal information of 14 patients.
Statement on Court of Appeal judgment on Freedom of Information Act appeal24/11/2023 09:20:00
The Court of Appeal has ruled against the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in a Freedom of Information Act 2000 appeal regarding the ability to aggregate public interest factors for and against disclosure when applying exemptions under the Act.
Statement regarding the outcome of the Independent External Review of Lancashire Police’s handling of the Nicola Bulley case21/11/2023 12:25:00
Statement regarding the outcome of the Independent External Review of Lancashire Police’s handling of the Nicola Bulley case.