The 28th January will be the European Privacy day for 2012.

Official logo of the European Data Protection ...

The campaign states that “2011 was a year with privacy discussions about Facebook, use of hacking by journalists, use of intelligent CCTV by police forces, use of twitter during urban riots, face recognition, smart houses and smart viewing of houses, and ICT for active ageing.”

The campaign has a the backing off most of Europe’s Data Protection Agencies e.g. the UK’s Information Commissioners Office and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The EDPS

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) is an independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy and promoting good practice in the EU institutions and bodies. He does so by monitoring the EU administration’s processing of personal data; advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy and cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection.

Download the Privacy EDPS booklet here.

The ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. We rule on eligible complaints, give guidance to individuals and organisations, and take appropriate action when the law is broken. You can find out more about us in this section.

To coincide with the European Privacy Day the UK Information Commissioner has launch a campaign called Access Aware which calls on individuals be more careful when accessing Personally identifiable Information (PII).

The Access Aware tool kit can be downloaded here.

Access Aware is one of the first outcomes of the ICO’s information rights priority work. Banking and finance companies as well as health bodies have been identified as the worst performing sectors in relation to handling subject access requests.

  • The most complained about sector are the lenders. In 2010/11, over a third (34%) of completed data protection specific complaints concerning financial institutions were about mishandled subject access requests.
  • In 2010/11, almost half (45%) of data protection specific complaints about health bodies concerned mishandled requests.
  • In the same year, 34% of data protection specific complaints in the policing and criminal justice sector were about subject access.

Speaking on the 27th January 2012, ahead of the Privacy Day, the UK Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham said:

“Organisations that handle personal information need to remember that customer records are not simply their property – the individuals who do business with them also have rights. We are seeing far too many complaints that could easily have been avoided if they’d been given serious and timely consideration.

“The result of mishandling requests is not simply a blip on customer service satisfaction levels, it can cause individuals a great deal of upset. The people who are making these requests are not doing it for fun; the vast majority are seeking resolutions to real problems – such as being refused credit or making important decisions about their health. I hope businesses and bodies that handle personal data use European Data Protection Day as a prompt to think about ways to improve their subject access request handling. Our Access Aware materials have been designed to help them do just that.”

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