From the Information Commissioner’s Office:
Today the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is launching an online consultation on a new draft code of practice which will provide organisations with a practical and common sense approach to protecting individuals’ privacy online. The new draft guidance explains how the law applies and calls on organisations to give people the right degree of choice and control over their personal information, for instance by giving them clear privacy choices or making it easier for people to erase their personal information at the end of a browsing session.
In his speech to delegates at the Personal information online conference in Manchester, Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, will say: “The internet plays a huge role in our everyday lives as we do more of our business online than ever before. Customers can always vote with their feet and punish organisations that they feel have let them down – which serves as a very real reminder that getting privacy online wrong is a risky game to play. People should have control over what happens to their personal information online whether it’s correcting inaccuracies, deleting profiles or choosing the privacy settings that suit them.”
The draft guidance helps organisations comply with the law and provides a common sense approach to collecting personal information online, including when to collect information and when not to.
Iain Bourne, Head of Data Protection Projects, said: “Collecting information about people in the proper way, including making them fully aware of what will happen to their personal information and how they can access it and keep it accurate, lies at the heart of good privacy protection. The draft code of practice explains a difficult area of the law and provides practical advice on a range of online privacy issues. It urges organisations to do more to explain what they do with the information they collect about people and to make sure they use it in line with individuals’ wishes.”
The code gives practical advice about areas like ‘cloud computing’, where in reality organisations may not know the location of information they are responsible for. It also calls on organisations to use the technology available to them to give people better rights, for example real-time access to personal information where this is possible.
The consultation begins on 9 December 2009 and ends on the 5 March 2010. For further information on the consultation, including responding, please visit www.ico.gov.uk. A link to the online consultation can be found here.