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Privacy Watchdog calls for more safeguards

Public and private organisations (opens in new tab) must put individuals' privacy ahead of any other considerations before developing new IT systems, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will say today in Manchester at a conference.

The evens marks the launch of a privacy impact assessment handbook as well as additional guidelines on Privacy Impact Assessments.

The calls come in the wake of the catastrophic handling of two CDROMs containing 25 millions Child Benefit Claimants' records by the HMRC.

Deputy information commissioner David Smith said: “It is essential that before introducing new systems and technologies, which could accelerate the growth of a surveillance society, full consideration is given to the impact on individuals and that safeguards are in place to minimise intrusion.

“Privacy impact assessments are a common sense approach to help organisations develop privacy friendly ways of working.”

The ICO now wants more assessments to be carried out in order to restore faith and public confidence.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.