Good information handling provides a range of benefits as well as helping you to comply with the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. Our information rights checklist (pdf) lists the main benefits and risks, along with practical suggestions for how to be open and responsible.
Data protection – looking after the information you hold
If you hold and process information about your clients, employees or suppliers, you are legally obliged to protect that information. Under the Data Protection Act, you must:
- only collect information that you need for a specific purpose;
- keep it secure;
- ensure it is relevant and up to date;
- only hold as much as you need, and only for as long as you need it; and
- allow the subject of the information to see it on request.
Good information handling makes good business sense, and provides a range of benefits. You'll enhance your organisation’s reputation, increase customer and employee confidence, and by ensuring that the information is accurate, save both time and money.
Filing defaults with credit reference agencies
Guidance for lenders and others who provide credit about when and how to file information about defaults with the credit reference agencies to ensure credit reference agencies are able to hold fair and accurate records about the financial standing of those individuals.
Credit agreements and data sharing
The ICO’s view on whether credit reference agencies can process information after a credit agreement has ended.
Requests for personal information
Your employees and customers have the right to see their personal information by making a subject access request.
If you do telephone, email or other electronic marketing then you need to comply with the Privacy and Electronics Communications Regulations.
For further information, see our guidance on direct marketing (pdf).
Credit unions - advisory visits report
In 2012/13 the ICO undertook seven advisory visits at credit unions (CRUs) to get a better understanding of the processing they undertake and the circumstances that they operate in. Read our findings from ICO advisory visits to credit unions which covers our experience of personal data handling by CRUs and where they can make improvements in how they handle their members’ information.
Registering with the ICO
If you handle personal information, you may need to register with us as a data controller. Notification is a statutory requirement and every organisation that processes personal information must notify the ICO, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify is a criminal offence.
As an employer, you are obliged to protect your employees’ personal information.
- Employment topic guide
- Quick guide to the employment practices code (pdf)
- Employment references (pdf)
Our training page has videos and practical toolkits to help you promote good data protection practice in your own organisation.