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ICO Warns That Lack Of Trust With Data Use Could Harm Innovation

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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ICO prioritises reducing ‘trust deficit’ head of GDPR next year

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned that innovation is at risk because the general public don’t trust organisations with their information while only a fraction are aware of how their details are used and stored.

The watchdog said its survey showed that just a fifth of Brits have confidence in how their data is used while only half of that understood the implications. Indeed, only eight percent understood how this information was disseminated to third parties.

confidential data

Data trust

Unsurprisingly, there is more trust in the public sector. Nearly two thirds said they had no problem with the NHS and half said the same about police and government departments. This contrasts starkly with the 12 percent that trusted social messaging platforms.

“As personal information becomes the currency by which society does business, organisations need to start making people’s data protection rights a priority,” said Deputy Commissioner Steve Wood. “Putting data protection at the centre of digital businesses strategies is the key to improving trust and digital growth.”

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The ICO said it would be reminding both public and private sector organisations to be transparent – something that will be enshrined in law with the arrival of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) next May – and has made the elimination of this ‘trust deficit’ one of its priorities for the next four years.

“By now organisations should be aware of the changes to data protection law next May,” added Wood. “It’s no longer acceptable to see the law as a box ticking exercise. Organisations will need to be accountable, to their customers and to the regulator.

“We want to see improvements in these figures. It’s time for organisations to start building the UK public’s trust and confidence in how data is used and made available.”

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