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ICO calls for mandatory data protection audits

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Businesses throughout the UK should be forced to undergo data protection audits to ensure they are in line with data protection laws and halt the continued leak of sensitive information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) feels that powers to conduct compulsory data protection audits in local government, the health service and the private sector are needed and will uphold compliance with the law.

Currently, the only compulsory data protections audit powers the ICO currently has are for central government departments, all other organisations have to give consent before an audit can take place.

But ICO figures show that businesses are generating the most data protection complaints when compared to the NHS and governmental departments. Yet just 19% of companies contacted by the ICO accepted the offer of undergoing an audit.

“Something is clearly wrong when the regulator has to ask permission from the organisations causing us concern before we can audit their data protection practices,” said Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

“Helping the healthcare sector, local government and businesses to handle personal data better are top priorities, and yet we are powerless to get in there and find out what is really going on. With more data being collected about all of us than ever before, greater audit powers are urgently needed to ensure that the people handling our data are doing a proper job.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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