Consumers ‘concerned over sharing of personal data’

The Information Commissioner has told businesses they need to do more to inform consumers about the way their information is being shared.

Christopher Graham’s comments on 18 March followed a survey of 1,575 people on data protection matters, which found that 85 per cent were concerned about how their personal information was passed or sold to other organisations.

It also found that 77 per cent of respondents were concerned about organisations not keeping their personal details secure.

Mr Graham said: “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…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.”

Link: Guide to data protection