Big data and the insurance sector

By Carl Wiper, Group Manager.

big-data-b-blogThe insurance sector is among those facing both the challenges and opportunities presented by the large volumes of data which are now available from sources such as social media.

How to benefit from this data explosion whilst respecting the rights of customers, maintaining people’s trust and complying with the law were the themes of an industry forum organised jointly by the ICO and Financial Conduct Authority.

The event was an opportunity for the two regulators to hear concerns and questions from the insurance sector and outline what they are doing to help.

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ICO International Strategy

By Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner.

international-c-blog You only need glance at your mobile phone to see how international data protection is today. Apps developed 5,000 miles away on America’s West Coast, following rules written 400 miles away in Brussels, in the palm of your hand to help you keep in touch with friends who live around the corner.

As a regulator and data protection authority, it’s important we have an international outlook. That’s long been the case, given the borderless nature of the digital economy, but it’s especially true today, as the UK reassesses its place in the world.

It’s an important context to consider as I set out what I want my office to achieve during my five year term as Information Commissioner. I expect to publish our information rights strategy in time for the new financial year, and it will have a clear international element.

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GDPR guidance in 2017

By Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy Delivery.


There’s nothing like a new year to focus the mind on self-improvement. And from a data protection perspective, there’s something about the arrival of 2017 that makes the implementation of GDPR in May 2018 seem so much closer.

The ICO remains committed to helping organisations to improve their practices and prepare for the GDPR. Today we’ve published an update setting out what guidance organisations can expect. It’s essential reading, as it will help you plan what areas to address across the next twelve months.

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Being held to ransom?

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.

ransomware-blogUK businesses are reportedly being forced to shut down after being held hostage by ransomware. One report suggested that 54% of UK businesses have been targeted with a ransomware attack, prompting more than a third of them to lose revenue and many to close completely.

Here at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) we want to help businesses prevent ransomware attacks, thus keeping people’s information secure and also avoiding financial and reputational damage.

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Top tips to think about now for a merry information rights Christmas

By Laura Middleton, Enforcement Team Manager.

holiday-blog“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Ev’rywhere you go,
Take a look at floors one to ten, lots of empty seats there again
Let’s hope there isn’t cause to call the ICO.”

With many offices shutting down for the festive season and plenty of extended leave, it can mean organisations are running on a skeleton staff.

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“Would you like us to email you a receipt?”

By Garreth Cameron, Group manager for Business and Industry.

e-receipt-blogOn the surface it’s a simple question increasingly being asked by high street retailers. But sometimes this simple question doesn’t tell the full story.

An e-receipt can be more convenient at times, but it is also a way for shops to collect personal data about their customers and send them marketing.

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Information Commissioner updates on WhatsApp / Facebook investigation

‘We think consumers deserve a greater level of information and protection, but so far Facebook hasn’t agreed’

By Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner.


Eight weeks ago I said my office would look into the approach WhatsApp had decided to take in sharing customer information with Facebook. It’s one of the roles of the Information Commissioner to pull back the curtain on how organisations use personal data, and I wanted to give you an update on what we’ve done so far.

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Cyber security – what does my organisation need to do? Answers from questions at our webinar

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.

cyber-security-blogCyber security is a frontline issue and a boardroom issue, not just a matter for information security experts. If you hold personal data and that data is on a device connected to the Internet, then the customers, patients   or citizens the information relates to are at risk of that information being attacked.

Last month David Freeland, from the ICO’s Scotland office, and I presented a webinar on cyber security.

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How the ICO will be supporting the implementation of the GDPR

By Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner.


The government has now confirmed that the UK will be implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Secretary of State Karen Bradley MP used her appearance before the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee to say:

“We will be members of the EU in 2018 and therefore it would be expected and quite normal for us to opt into the GDPR and then look later at how best we might be able to help British business with data protection while maintaining high levels of protection for members of the public.”

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