The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Personal information online

More and more people are conducting their personal affairs online. Online shopping, social networking, job hunting and the ability to carry out ‘official’ functions, such as renewing car tax or contacting local councils and government departments online, are now an everyday part of life.

Personal information online: code of practice

View the Personal information online code of practice The code explains how the Data Protection Act applies to the collection and use of personal data online. It provides good practice advice for organisations that do business or provide services online. It was launched in July 2010 following an extensive consultation process.

The code explains the privacy risks that may arise when operating online, and suggests ways for organisations to deal with them. It stresses the importance of treating consumers’ information properly, and being transparent about how their information is used.

The code covers topics including online marketing, operating internationally, and applying individuals’ rights in an online environment. It applies equally to the public and private sectors.

On 26 May 2011 the rules on using cookies changed. This guidance reflects the law before that date. Our advice on the new cookies law sets out the changes and explains what steps you need to take now to ensure you comply.

Small business checklist

If you run a small business with an online presence, this checklist will help you to adopt best practice when processing your customers’ information.