It’s more important than ever to know who is using your personal data, and why. Our guest from the Information Commissioner’s Office explains more.
This is a guest post by Steve Wood. All views expressed are Steve’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
New laws introduced a year ago changed the way businesses should be using personal data – the General Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR – strengthened consumers’ rights, putting them at the heart of data protection law.
At the ICO, we regulate this new legislation and increasing the public’s trust and confidence in how their personal data is used is one of our main priorities.
We’ve handled more than 40,000 complaints about personal data since May 2018. We look at every complaint to make sure people’s data are being used in ways they expect.
Know your data rights
We want people to understand how they can be in control of their own personal information. People have the right to ask for a copy of all the data held about them, the right to get their personal information corrected, and the right to ask an organisation to stop using their data.
It’s your right to be informed about how organisations are using your data, even if it happens behind the scenes.
Over the last year our investigations have revealed the invisible ‘behind the scenes’ processing of personal data that happens online.
Why is my app free?
People are starting to ask ‘why is my app or online service free?’ – and realising the trade-off is their personal information.
We always advise those who use social media, online services and any websites to check their privacy and advertising settings and to review them regularly, particularly after any new settings are introduced.
This includes understanding how people use your data to target you with social media adverts. Our new ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign is designed to show people how companies might be using their data to target them online and why, and how you can control who is targeting them.
In 2018, we fined Facebook £500,000 for allowing an app to harvest the personal data of 87 million people without their consent.
We have also taken action against HMRC, ordering it to delete personal data after it collected seven million voice records without consent.
Whether people are liking or sharing a social media post, or accessing a public service, they have a right to expect the law is being followed.
Did you know you have the right to ask an organisation to stop using your data? Do you understand why you receive nuisance calls? And do you know why you receive adverts online?
This was a guest post by Steve Wood. All views expressed were Steve’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
What action do you think could be taken by the ICO and others to awareness of data rights?