Data Protection Audits

According to a just released annual report from the Information Commissioner's Office, private companies reported the greatest number of data security breaches - 186 out of 603 - during 2010/11. Data security breaches are defined by the ICO as an incident that results in the 'loss, release or co

According to a just released annual report from the Information Commissioner's Office, private companies reported the greatest number of data security breaches - 186 out of 603 - during 2010/11.

Data security breaches are defined by the ICO as an incident that results in the 'loss, release or corruption of personal data' and surprisingly, there is no legal obligation to report the event - only a voluntary scheme to report.

Despite the relatively high proportion of incidents involving private sector businesses, only 19 per cent of businesses contacted by the ICO took up the offer of a free data protection audit. That compares badly to the 71 per cent of public sector organisations who took the offer.

The ICO is trying to portray that an audit doesn't indicate any form of guilt; indeed, it wants the audit to be a 'badge of honour'.

This was first published in July 2011

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