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ICO urges data protection

A report urging organisations to put a value on personal information and invest in privacy protection was released by the Information Commissioner's Office this week.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that not only is it the law to protect people's privacy, but there is also a business imperative.

Privacy protection should be hard-wired into organisational culture and governance, he said.

But the document has been criticised for not addressing the belief that data breaches only happen to other people.

Chris McIntosh, CEO of encryption company Stonewood, said: "The risks to security, reputation and the well-being of employees and customers that can be caused by data loss have been well documented but more discussion is needed to convince organisations that not only can this happen to them, it more than likely will."

The report offers guidance on steps to assess the costs and benefits of a privacy protection scheme, creating business cases for implementing a new system or change an existing one, and assessing the value of personal information and putting figures to the business case.

But McIntosh said: "While this report will be a useful tool to those seeking to convince their organisation to secure data, it does not address the crucial issue of organisations trusting to luck."


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