As top data providers and UK list brokers, Seawave Media take data protection very seriously. With consumer data becoming increasingly important for businesses’ marketing efforts, it is becoming equally important for companies to invest in data protection, and changing laws are ensuring those who fail to do so pay the price.
One organisation that’s recently felt the full force of data protection laws is the NHS, which has seen two of its trusts hit with a total of £365,000 in fines for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. The latest to be targeted, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, was given a £180,000 find after a sexual health clinic revealed the email addresses of more than 700 users of its HIV service, severely compromising patient confidentiality.
However, it wasn’t the first to be handed a fine; the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was asked to pay a £185,000 penalty for mistakenly posting the private details of 6,574 members of staff on its public website.
According to data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 2014/15 Annual Report, these blunders are the latest in a long history of public sector data protection breaches, with departments including local government, police, health and education accounting for more than 90 per cent of the casework at the ICO. But it’s not just public sector departments making the headlines, many private businesses have also faced hefty fines in the last 12 months for failing to protect their data.
The regulations surrounding data protection are on the rise and the onus if very much on businesses to make sure they are in control of their data and any data they purchase comes from reputable providers. Internal threats and hackers are two of the biggest causes for the mounting pressures on companies.
Enterprises can avoid penalisation in this area by ensuring they have implemented an effective data management infrastructure to keep data stored in accordance with laws and regulations. To do this, begin by noting who from within your business has access to data and when, which will allow for controls to be put in place that can signal any breached access. This process should then be discussed with your contractors, who should mirror the approach to avoid data breaches at their end.
To remain within the law, businesses also need to ensure they have fully compliant data in terms of customer transparency. Rather than demanding excessive data when presenting customers with web forms and registrations, only ask for necessary data and be transparent when you’re questioned on your company’s planned use of the data provided.
Many companies also choose to use data from consumer data providers. It’s essential that anyone taking this approach chooses a business like Seawave Media, who can offer a range of fully compliant data services that are safely within the law.
Unlike data collected by individual companies, data from UK list brokers is constantly updated to remain within changing EU data laws, ensuring your company can take advantage of the benefits of big data without dealing with the worry of penalisation.