The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a new statutory code of practice designed to help businesses and public sector bodies share people’s personal information.
The ICO’s data sharing code of practice covers both routine and one-off instances of data sharing. It includes good practice advice that will be helpful to all organisations that share personal information-– for example when local authorities share information with the health service or when building societies provide information to a credit reference agency. The code gives advice on when and how personal information can be shared as well as how to keep it secure.
Information commissioner, Christopher Graham, said: “Few would argue that sharing data can play an important role in providing an efficient service to consumers in both the public and private sector. More and more transactions are done online – from shopping and banking to managing tax and health records. People now have an expectation that, where appropriate and necessary, their personal details may be shared. However, this does not mean that companies or public bodies can do this just as they see fit. The public rightly want to remain in control of who is using their information and why, and they need to feel confident that it is being kept safe.”
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