The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) yesterday published its review of the public’s awareness and attitudes towards information rights.

The key messages are that:

  • information rights awareness is on the up;
  • the public most trusts high street banks but least trusts internet brands (closely followed by businesses generally) – the public sector is in the middle;
  • privacy impacts do affect the public’s perception of a new service, and will affect take-up rates; and
  • the public is nearly as concerned about inappropriate data use for marketing/spam as it is for data theft.

The ICO stresses that the public’s concerns could readily be interpreted into fines if there are actual breaches – I would also add that service take-up and your overall reputation can be seriously affected by data issues, and that these are likely to last much longer than the effect of a fine on the balance sheet.

The findings are in a PowerPoint slide set which is worth reading for some data, FOI and social trends, as many of the results are split between different age groups.  It can be accessed from the ICO’s news page here.  Interestingly, awareness of the Data Protection Act remains high, at 97%, but awareness of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation is low at just 16%.

Following on from my LinkedIn post regarding the Government’s standard outsourcing contract supporting greater transparency of outsourced service provision, 66% of the public think that outsourced service providers should be subject to Freedom of Information.

There is much food for thought in the data privacy and FOI field at present as it is, but these statistics put it into the context of the public’s views.

For more from our data privacy team do visit our microsite for guidance on the GDPR, self-assessment tools, our Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook and much more.