Information Commissioner warns that 'line in the sand' shows people recognise the value of their data

Information Commissioner warns that 'line in the sand' shows people recognise the value of their data

News release: 28 February 2014

The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham will highlight how the recent furore over the proposals has shown that the general public are now more aware than ever of the value of their personal information and how their privacy should be respected. His comments will be made at the seventh annual Data Protection Practitioner Conference 2014 taking place in Manchester on Monday 3 March 2014.

The conference is the biggest yet with over 750 delegates attending from a variety of different sectors. Speaking at the event will be the Justice Minister, Simon Hughes MP, the Director of the Government Innovation Group at the Cabinet Office, Paul Maltby, and broadcaster and media commentator, Steve Hewlett.

Ahead of this year's conference the Information Commissioner said:

"Last summer I issued a warning to organisations across the UK that the public are now waking up to the value of their personal information and the importance of treating it properly. Any organisation or business that failed to handle people's information properly in 2013, I said, would quickly find themselves losing trust and losing customers.

"In the months that followed it was two big data developments in the public sector that provoked widespread public unease. First there was Edward Snowden with his revelations about the activities of the security services, in the United States and in Europe. Then the GP data extraction scheme,, was put on hold because a significant number of patients were asserting their right to stay in control of their information. "We should see these developments as a line in the sand. Members of the public know this country has a Data Protection Act, they understand it requires organisations and companies to look after their information properly. Citizens and consumers expect organisations to be open and upfront with how their information will be used. In a digital age, this knowledge is invaluable and shows why the Act is so important. We must all get it right, or suffer the consequences."

The event, held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, features speeches and seminars on topics including surveillance, European data protection reform, technology and access to public and private sector data. There will also be an 'Information Market', with exhibitions to raise awareness of influential organisations, panels and groups.

You can follow the event throughout the day on our Twitter feed through #dppc2014 or @iconews, where we'll be posting key comments, pictures and video clips. On Tuesday, a Storify page will give a full picture of the day, further information can also be found on the conference website.

If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070 or visit the website at:

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner's Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  1. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
  1. The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more in the ICO blog and e-newsletter. Our Press Office page provides more information for journalists.
  1. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:    
  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

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