Putting public confidence at risk

According to figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office, the public sector has been responsible for 192 out of 376 data breaches reported in the last 15 months. It urges organisations to make data protection part of their corporate governance, and warned that if they fail to take data protection seriously, the public sector risks losing the trust and confidence of the public.

May 7, 2009
By Paul Jacques
DCC Russ Foster

According to figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office, the public sector has been responsible for 192 out of 376 data breaches reported in the last 15 months. It urges organisations to make data protection part of their corporate governance, and warned that if they fail to take data protection seriously, the public sector risks losing the trust and confidence of the public.

It is an argument backed up by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) in its interim report Digital Britain published earlier this year by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

The report warns: “Next generation access networks enable fast transfers of information, presenting an increased vulnerability to data theft to a larger amount of business and citizen information. This demands increased responsibility on the part of both service providers and users to maintain a higher degree of vigilance and appropriate safeguards to minimise the probability and impact of risks, such as identity theft, fraud and espionage. In the same way that motorways need driving protocols, speed limits and traffic police, and fast cars require higher performance brakes, so the responsible use of next generation services will require an appropriate framework of protocols, permissions and policing.”

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