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News

ICO Misled By Statistics Being Encouraged By 72% DPA Awareness

LogRhythm : 21 October, 2011  (Technical Article)
LogRhythm comments on recent ICO statistics, claiming that high awareness levels of DPA obligations doesn't mean that these obligations are being fulfilled
ICO Misled By Statistics Being Encouraged By 72% DPA Awareness
The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham is encouraged by research showing 72 percent awareness among organisations of their obligation under the Data Protection Act (DPA) to keep personal information secure. This follows the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) publishing its 2011 annual track survey which interviewed 2,500 individuals and over 800 organisations from both the private and public sector.

Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director of international markets at LogRhythm, made the following comments:

“While the ICO seems to think almost three quarters of organisations knowing that they should keep personal data secure is a positive thing, I’m shocked that over one in four is unaware of such a common sense requirement. Furthermore, just because organisations are aware of their obligations does not mean they are fulfilling them. Regardless of what the DPA requires, the high profile breaches that regularly make the headlines should have made it patently obvious that ensuring data security is not an option.

“LogRhythm’s own research has found that the public is unlikely to give irresponsible companies a second chance. In our poll of 2,000 consumers, conducted in September 2011, 26 percent stated they would never have anything to do with organisations which had lost data as a result of cyber crime. A further 61 percent stated they would try to avoid interacting with these organisations if at all possible.

“The public is increasingly backing breach disclosure laws as a way of controlling this problem with 72 percent calling for all breaches to be publicised and 69 percent wanting this notification to be immediate. The ICO will be at the heart of breach notification processes once new legislation is introduced as a result of the forthcoming European Commission’s new Data Protection Directive.

“However, does it really matter what the ICO thinks about any of this? According to our research 64 percent of the public is completely unaware of the Information Commissioner. Of those that are, only 33 percent think it is doing a good job of ensuring UK organisations keep sensitive data safe. Even the ICO’s own research found that only 70 percent of organisations were aware that it was responsible for enforcing the DPA. Mr Graham will need to rectify this situation soon or the ICO may find itself in danger of becoming an irrelevance.”
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