Information Commissioner's Office
Helping people be data aware
In our data-driven world, it’s more important than ever to know who is using people’s personal data, and why.
Yesterday the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched the ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign to help people understand how organisations might be using their data to target them online, and how people can control who is targeting them.
This includes understanding how organisations use people’s data to reach them with social media adverts to market goods or services and for political marketing.
The ICO’s ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes has uncovered the ‘behind the scenes’ processing of personal data, including algorithms, analysis, data matching and profiling that involves people’s personal information.
One of the recommendations from the investigation was for the ICO to continue to educate the public on the impact of new and developing technologies and the use of data analytics in political campaigns.
The Be Data Aware campaign does just that. With a number of resources, including downloadable factsheets on privacy and advertising settings, information about people’s right to be informed and explanations of how online microtargeting works, this new campaign reminds people of their rights under the GDPR and how to exercise them.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham yesterday said:
“Our goal is to effect change and ensure confidence in our democratic system. And that can only happen if people are fully aware of how organisations are using their data, particularly if it happens behind the scenes.
“New technologies and data analytics provide persuasive tools that allow campaigners to connect with voters and target messages directly at them based on their likes, swipes and posts. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.”
For more information and to download the campaign resources visit ico.org.uk/bedataaware.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding 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 2018 (DPA2018), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection law which applies in the UK from 25 May 2018. Its provisions are included in the Data Protection Act 2018. The Act also includes measures related to wider data protection reforms in areas not covered by the GDPR, such as law enforcement and security.
- Since 25 May 2018, the ICO has the power to impose a civil monetary penalty (CMP) on a data controller of up to £17million (20m Euro) or 4% of global turnover.
- To report a concern to the ICO go to ico.org.uk/concerns.
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
New UK Information Commissioner begins term04/01/2022 13:20:00
John Edwards begins his new role as UK Information Commissioner today (Tuesday 4 January).
ICO and NHS Test and Trace agree data protection improvements following consensual audit22/12/2021 12:25:00
The ICO has issued NHS Test and Trace with recommendations to strengthen the protection of people’s personal data, so it can continue to play a vital role in tackling the pandemic.
ICO invites comments on how it uses its powers to investigate, regulate and enforce21/12/2021 12:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a consultation to gather the views of stakeholders and the public on how it regulates the laws it monitors and enforces.
Cabinet Office fined £500,000 for New Year Honours data breach02/12/2021 14:38:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined the Cabinet Office £500,000 for disclosing postal addresses of the 2020 New Year Honours recipients online.
ICO issues its largest fine to tackle illegal pension cold calls02/12/2021 12:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined EB Associates Group Limited £140,000 for instigating over 107,000 illegal cold calls to people about pensions.
ICO issues provisional view to fine Clearview AI Inc over £17 million30/11/2021 13:05:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced its provisional intent to impose a potential fine of just over £17 million on Clearview AI Inc – a company that describes itself as the ‘World’s Largest Facial Network’.
The certainty of change: regulation in a time of political and social challenges.29/11/2021 12:25:00
Elizabeth Denham reflects on her time at the ICO, in a speech delivered to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (26 November 2021).
ICO calls on Google and other companies to eliminate existing privacy risks posed by adtech industry26/11/2021 12:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) yesterday set out clear data protection standards that companies must meet to safeguard people’s privacy online when developing new advertising technologies (adtech).