Today (25 May) marks the biggest change to UK data protection law in a generation.   

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an evolution of the current Data Protection Act (1998) and comes into effect today.

Regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the new law gives people more control about how their data is used, shared and stored and requires organisations to be more accountable and transparent about how they use it.

For the last two years, the ICO has been helping organisations prepare for the new law by producing guidance and targeted online resources, holding and speaking at dozens of events and setting up a dedicated helpline for small businesses.

Now it is launching a long term campaign to help people understand why their data matters and how they can take back control.

The collaborative public information campaign ‘Your Data Matters’ aims to increase the public's trust and confidence in how their data is used and made available.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“Almost everything we do - keeping in touch with friends on social media, shopping online, exercising, driving, and even watching television - leaves a digital trail of personal data.

“We know that sharing our data safely and efficiently can make our lives easier, but that digital trail is valuable. It’s important that it stays safe and is only used in ways that people would expect and can control.”

The GDPR gives people more and stronger rights when it comes to their personal data. Your Data Matters will help people understand how they can exercise those rights.

The ICO has collaborated with a range of public and private sector organisations to produce publicity materials that can be used by anyone wanting to spread the message to their customers or clients.

The ICO has also launched a new Twitter account for the public, @YourDataMatters, to complement its successful @ICOnews account, which has 63,500 followers.

Organisations wanting to pledge their support for their customers or service user’s data rights can sign up to a public register.

This will be a public demonstration of their support for people’s data rights and carries the ICO logo.