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March 5, 2010

ICO puts business case for protecting data

Report puts financial spin on privacy

By Vinod

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has urged organisations to put together the business case for protecting their personal information.

In its Privacy Dividend report, the ICO is keen to emphasise the business benefits for companies to invest in data protection, rather than simply dwell on the risks. It offers practical guidelines on best practice for investing in data protection, including using calculation sheets to assess the value of personal information and how to feed these figures into the business case.

Some of the benefits include improving an organisation’s reputation by winning people’s trust and using personal information as an asset to make a company more agile and appealing to the public.

Although he welcomes the report, Chris McIntosh, CEO of Stonewood warned that many firms would simply believe that a data protection breach could never happen on their doorstop.

“Many organisations feel they will be one of the fortunate few that remain untouched. As a result, planning for options such as encryption and the correct handling of data is put off for another day. While this report will be a useful tool to those seeking to convince their organisations to secure data, it does not address the crucial issue of organisations trusting to luck,” said McIntosh.


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