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.

Students concerned that information online might affect their careers, says ICO - as it launches privacy awareness campaign

Subscribe to our latest news

News release: 26 October 2011

Four out of ten students online (42%) are concerned that personal information available about them online might affect their future employment prospects, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said today, as it launched its 2011 Student Brand Ambassador campaign.

New figures published today also show that many students are not adequately protecting themselves against the risk of identity theft. 1 in 3 (33%) students who have lived at a previous address while at university still haven’t arranged the redirection of all their important post to their current university address. Over three quarters (76%) haven’t checked their credit rating in the last year, and two thirds (66%) have never checked it, allowing suspicious credit applications to go unnoticed.

The ICO today launched its 2011 Student Brand Ambassador Campaign – a nationwide project aimed at raising young people’s awareness of information rights. Students at 15 universities across the UK, including Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Ulster, have been recruited to promote the ICO’s work on campus. Tasks involve spreading the word using social media, generating local media coverage and doing promotional work.

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:

“In tough times, young people are clearly less relaxed about privacy, particularly in relation to information that they post online - but many may not know what they can do about it. The Student Brand Ambassador campaign is about arming students with the advice they need to protect themselves from obvious dangers such as identity theft and keeping their social lives private. It’s about empowering young people to take back control of their information and I hope the campaign is embraced by students at universities across the UK.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  The survey’s total sample size was 500 full time university students. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14 and 17 October 2011.  The survey was carried out online.


Notes to Editors

1. The 15 students taking part in the Student Brand Ambassador campaign are based at the following universities: Aston, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Hertfordshire, Leeds Met, Leicester De Montfort, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Ulster.

2. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

3. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

4. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes 
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date 
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary 
  • Processed in line with your rights 
  • Secure 
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection 

5. The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and produces a monthly e-newsletter. Our For the media page provides more information for journalists.

6. If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070 or