New code for handling personal data

The British Computer Society (BCS), in partnership with the Information Security Awareness Forum (ISAF) – founded by the Information Systems Security Association UK (ISSA-UK) – has launched a personal data guardianship code in an effort to change the culture of organisations towards the handling of personal data.

Jun 18, 2009
By Paul Jacques
Picture: IWF

The British Computer Society (BCS), in partnership with the Information Security Awareness Forum (ISAF) – founded by the Information Systems Security Association UK (ISSA-UK) – has launched a personal data guardianship code in an effort to change the culture of organisations towards the handling of personal data.
The code follows the success of the BCS petition objecting to the changes in the Coroners and Justice Bill, which would have seen drastic changes to the way in which government departments could have used personal information.
The code is intended to help organisations and the people in them who handle personal data understand their individual responsibilities. It promotes best practice and provides ‘commonsense’ guidance, and also lays out information for the data subject.
BCS and the ISAF have produced the code in direct response to the number of high-profile data breaches in recent years, including several in government offices. It follows sustained activity by BCS on the topic of security and data protection.
Louise Bennett, chair of the BCS Security Forum, explained: “This is the equivalent of the Highway Code for motorists – it will help all those involved in the management of personal data understand their role and enable them to carry out their jobs better.”
The code identifies the principles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the collection, management and use of personal data, including a number of guidelines.
Visit www.bcs.org

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