The ICO’s code of practice should definitely be welcomed, a lot of time, effort and consultation has gone into its drafting, to produce a good workable code that will help both Public and private sectors to improve customer trust and confidence in their online activities.
Above all, transparency is key. Information sharing online can be a force for good, but it’s essential for the consumer to be told what’s being done and why. Sometimes organisations themselves aren’t aware when they’re sharing data, let alone whether they’re doing it legitimately or not. The code of practice aims to ease these pressures, outlining how organisations can increase transparency and compliance with the Data Protection Act.
There is an argument that says ‘If we shared less data we’d have less risk’ but the reality is that organisations need data, and will have to get it from somewhere, so lets do it properly. The ICO’s code of practice is the first of its kind in the world - there is no one country that has set the example for others to follow so far. Organisations need to take note of the guidance given within the document. While following the code is not a legal requirement, applying its advice on good practice with online consumer interaction will help build consumer trust, brand reputation and limit the likelihood of regulator enforcement and fines.
UK Privacy Officer