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.

Statement from Deputy Chief Executive Paul Arnold as the ICO publishes initial guidance for businesses asked to record and maintain personal data of customers, staff and visitors in support of the test and trace scheme.

Deputy Chief Executive Paul Arnold said:

“For the public health benefits to be realised from these new measures it is important people feel able to share their personal data with confidence. So people can have this trust and confidence in the way their personal data will be kept safe and used properly as they prepare to return to their favourite pubs, restaurants and local businesses, we want to help businesses to get things right first time as they adapt to new ways of working.

“We’ve published ICO advice - clear, simple steps that businesses can take as they introduce customer and visitor records. And we’ll be supporting government guidance with a series of Q and As on our coronavirus online hub that will give more detail. We also have a team of experts offering advice and support through our small business helpline.

“We appreciate the challenge that many small businesses face in introducing unfamiliar arrangements at speed. Our focus is on supporting and enabling them to handle people's data responsibly from the outset and, while we will act where we find serious, systemic or negligent behaviour, our aim is to help the thousands of businesses that are doing their best to do the right thing.

“We’ll continue to update our guidance on this and other coronavirus-related data protection issues on our dedicated web hub.”