The Global Privacy Enforcement Network's (GPEN) annual intelligence gathering operation looked at how well organisations have implemented the core concepts of accountability into their own internal privacy policies and programmes.
The joint study, known as the 'GPEN sweep', is carried out by data protection regulators across the globe and this year looks at how they have taken responsibility for complying with data protection laws.
Whilst there were examples of good practice, it was found that a number of organisations had no processes in place to deal with the complaints and queries raised by data subjects, and were not equipped to handle data security incidents appropriately.
ICO Head of Intelligence, Adam Stevens, said:
“The findings suggest that whilst organisations contacted by the ICO and our international partners have a good understanding of the basic concept of accountability, in practice there is significant room for improvement.
“It is important that organisations have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place. This includes having clear data protection policies, taking a ‘data protection by design and default’ approach and continuing to review and monitor performance and adherence to data protection rules and regulations.”
Participating GPEN members made contact with 356 organisations in 18 countries during the ‘sweep’ and came to the following conclusions:
In terms of national findings, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) made contact with 28 organisations across various sectors in the UK, and came to the following conclusions:
As a result of the investigation, individual GPEN members may contact organisations in their own countries to assess what remedial action they need to take to improve user controls over their personal information.
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