ICO reports increased consumer trust in companies protecting their data

Hayes Connor SolicitorsBy Legal Futures’ Associate Hayes Connor Solicitors

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its annual report showing that more than a third (34%) of consumers trust organisations to adequately protect their personal information – an increase from 21% the previous year.

The results follow recent ICO announcements of £multi-million fines against British Airways and Marriott International and indicate that the general public has growing confidence following the introduction of GDPR and the ICO’s policing to keep businesses in line.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The figures still show that nearly two thirds of people still do not trust businesses to keep their private information safe. The figures in the report show that the number of public data protection complaints made to the ICO has almost doubled in 12 months to 41,661.

“Individuals are taking more control of their personal data and proactively engaging in making organisations accountable if they fail in their data protection obligations. The report does show however, that GDPR is working with the number of businesses contacting the regulator increasing by a significant 66%.

“The ICO has been robust in its investigations and has issued serious fines, not least, the recent £multi-million fines following the British Airways and Marriott International data breaches. Both have indicated that they will appeal the extent of the fines and consumer confidence in relation to data protection may be tested if the ICO does not uphold its decisions.

“The research found that nearly two thirds (64%) of data protection officers had seen an increase in customers and service users exercising their information rights since GDPR came into effect. The public, and the ICO, are sending a strong message to all businesses – protect the personal information held or face potentially crippling financial consequences and reputational damage.”

Hayes Connor is currently engaged in High Court Litigation against Ticketmaster following its notification of a large scale data breach last year. This is the first of the high profile, high volume and value, cases to be in the High Court post GDPR.

The ICO pronouncement on the Ticketmaster investigation is imminent. At a hearing in Liverpool High Court last week, HHJ Pearce provided an order of the Court for the case to move forward this year to start to establish the liability of Ticketmaster to its customer base.

The firm is also acting against Equifax, British Airways, Marriott International, Amazon and the Police Federation for England and Wales.

For more information about Hayes Connor Solicitors, visit the website at www.hayesconnor.co.uk


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