UK loses faith in government’s data policies

Recent high profile data losses by the DVA and HMRC have eroded confidence in the government’s ability to handle personal data, according to a recent survey.

UK loses faith in government's data policies

The survey, conducted for the Information Commissioner’s Office, found that over half of those polled have no confidence in the way that banks and the government protect their data, while seven out of ten claim they feel “powerless” about how their personal information is looked after.

However, this increased awareness has apparently caused people to be more cautious, with eight out of ten people saying they now take greater care with their data, and nearly nine in ten claiming to regularly check their bank statements for signs of fraud.

“I encourage everyone to check how organisations are storing their personal details. You can use your rights under the Data Protection Act to ensure your data is being properly looked after – use our checklist to ask the right questions,” says David Smith, deputy commissioner at the ICO.

“Taking care of our personal information has never been so important and, as the research shows, the majority of us are now much more aware of the value of our personal details. As more and more personal information is collected, the risk grows that some information will be inaccurate, out of date or end up in the wrong hands.”

The ICO advises that organisations should explain how data will be used before collecting it, and avoid storing unnecessary data. It also explains that any company should provide details of data stored if requested to do so by an individual.

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