Private Firms Deny Free Data Protection Audit by ICO

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has revealed that only 19 percent of private companies agreed to a free data protection audit by the watchdog.

The ICO said that there were 603 data breaches reported in 2010-2011, out of which, 186 were made by private business, but still they won’t submit to a free audit, the SC Magazine reports.

On the other hand, of all the public sector organisations that were offered a free data protection audit, 71 percent of them agreed to it.

“Lenders, general businesses and direct marketing companies account for almost a third of total complaints to the ICO, and businesses were the top sector for reporting data security breaches to us last year. Despite this, many of them are still resisting our offer to undergo audits,” ICO Christopher Graham said.

“We've written to organisations we consider to be high risk but the response has been disappointing,” he added.

The ICO said that the audit was not about naming and shaming organisations but to let them realise the shortcoming of their data protection policies and improve them with good practice and collaboration with the ICO. The watchdog pointed out that good data practices were linked to good customer service.