06 Oct

ICO Data Protection Conference


Here at Hobsons we deal with a lot of data.  Our EMEA office alone works with over 60 institutions and it’s our job to keep all of that data secure and make sure that we are fully compliant.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have been running data protection workshops across the UK, and they landed in London on Tuesday 23rd September.  Our dedicated Data Protection Officer Idris Mensa-Bonsu went to catch up with the latest developments. Here are his key highlights.

The conference began with a keynote speech from David Smith, ICO Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection. He spoke about the need for all sectors to understand the eight principles laid out in the Data Protection Act of 1998, especially Principle 6 which governs the rights for individuals to access and prevent processing of their personal data.

My particular highlights were:

  1. The ICO is expecting the new EU Directive to be agreed by May 2015 at the earliest, with a full implementation by 2017.
  2. The ICO has built a Self-Assessment Toolkit which will be launched in the next couple of months. Organisations can use this to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and follow guidance on how to improve.
  3. The Cyber Essentials Scheme is a new government initiative to improve cyber security. The government will soon require all companies to be accredited by the scheme.
  4. The National Archives will be expanding their e-learning Data Protection programme to include all sectors of the UK. It will be free to all companies from October 7th. It was mentioned by Matthew Parker that it is the National Archives who trains the ICO.

I’ve come back and shared everything I’ve learnt with other Hobsons staff  who work directly with institutions. We take data protection really seriously and we believe that we all have a duty to ensure data protection practices are as they should be. How does your team ensure that you comply with the law?

By Idris Mensa-Bonsu , Data Protection Officer

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