ICO fines firms for sending more than 2.7 million spam text messages during the pandemic

Two separate companies that sent nuisance text messages during the Covid-19 pandemic have been fined a total of £330,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Messages from one of the firms prompted a record 10,000 complaints. Leads Works Ltd The ICO has fined West Sussex-based Leads Works Ltd £250,000 for sending more than 2.6 million nuisance text messages to customers without their valid consent. The messages, sent between 16 May and 26 June 2020, resulted in over 10,000 complaints. Andy Curry, ICO Head of Investigations, said: “The number of complaints we’ve…

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ICO publishes new Data Sharing Code of Practice

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its Data Sharing Code of Practice. The code, and a suite of new resources, provides practical advice to businesses and organisations on how to carry out responsible data sharing. Data sharing is central to digital innovation in both the private and public sectors. It can lead to many economic and social benefits, including greater growth, technological innovations, and the delivery of more efficient and targeted services. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said the COVID-19 pandemic brought the need for fair, transparent and secure data…

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ICO launches consultation on draft Statutory guidance

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a public consultation on its draft Statutory guidance, which details how it will regulate and enforce data protection legislation in the UK. Supporting the ICO’s primary responsibility of ensuring compliance with the law, the document explains the ICO’s powers; when it will use them and how it calculates fines. Designed to ensure the rights and freedoms of individuals are protected, the draft guidance also seeks to provide assurance to business that the ICO will use its powers proportionately and consistently. Elizabeth Denham, Information…

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Annual survey gives insight into people’s information rights views

As the UK economy adjusts to the impact of COVID-19, it has never been more important for organisations to understand what their customers want and expect. Data protection is an important part of that picture. The past six months has seen a sharp acceleration in the use of digital services, which often rely on people trusting that their personal information will be handled fairly, lawfully and transparently. As a regulator, we play an important role in enabling innovation and enforcing the law. That work includes helping organisations to understand what…

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ICO launches self-assessment Freedom of Information toolkit

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an online toolkit to help public authorities respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests as organisations prepare to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The toolkit is designed to help public authorities self-assess their performance in responding to FOI requests. It generates a bespoke report which helps to identify areas for improvement and where action needs to be taken. Deborah Clark, ICO Group Manager Insight and Compliance, said: “Whilst the ICO remains pragmatic in its regulatory approach, we also now expect organisations to start putting…

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