PL&B UK E-news, Issue 66

1. ICO given power to conduct spot checks on Government departments

The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, yesterday, 21st November, announced that the Information Commissioner will be given the power to conduct unannounced audits at Government Departments as a result of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) losing two discs containing personal data on 25 million people. Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner, told yesterday’s meeting of the National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers (NADPO) in London that he has insisted on also being given the necessary resources to carry out these audits.

In the aftermath of the HMRC incident, Thomas is also calling for the law to be changed "to make security breaches of this magnitude a criminal offence."

Read more about this in the PL&B UK newsletter, to be published at the end of November.

2. Launch of UK Privacy Survey 2007

How are privacy professionals valued in their organisations in the UK? How well is your organisation prepared for a loss of personal data? What do you think of the proposed new compulsory audit powers in the public sector for the Information Commissioner? Should they be extended to the private sector? Should there be a criminal offence for major data security breaches? And how are you, as a Privacy professional, valued in comparison to others doing similar work in your sector?

To answer these questions, we have prepared a survey which will only take you about five minutes to complete. As you would expect, all responses will be aggregated and anonymised so that no individual or organisation will be identifiable from the results.

The results will give you, and the wider privacy community in the UK, an idea of how Privacy is regarded within the UK and how Privacy professionals are valued within their organisations in terms of resources and remuneration, as well as the scope of their work. Obviously the more responses we get, the more valuable the overall report will be.

We intend to run this survey on an annual basis. A copy of the survey report will be sent to all those who participate, and a summary will be posted on our website.

Respond by close of business on the 21st December to be in with a chance of winning either:

• a free day at Privacy Laws & Business’s 2008 Annual Conference in Cambridge (July 7-9th) or

• a year’s free subscription to Privacy Laws & Business’s UK Newsletter

There will be four prizes from all respondents who complete the survey.

For further details on the Privacy Laws & Business UK Newsletter, please click here.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2007