ICO: Only 49% consumers believe firms process their data in ‘fair and proper’ manner

According to the results of the 2011 Annual Track Survey by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), only about 49 percent of the consumers are convinced that data is processed by the firms in a `fair and proper' manner.

As per the survey, the consumers had even lesser faith in the data security measures taken web-based firms --- with almost 74 percen tof the consumers believing that their personal information was apparently not being kept secure. In addition, a whopping majority of 97 percent consumers even felt that their personal data was probably being either passed on or sold to other organisations.

The survey has revealed that there has been a 58 percent year-on-year increase in data security breaches in the private sector --- a figure which is quite alarming especially in the wake of the fact that almost 72 percent of firms are aware that, according to the Data Protection Act (DPA), it is mandatory that they maintain the security of the personal of consumers.

With reference to the fact that the awareness of the DPA among nearly 72 percent firms marks a 26 percent increase over the last year figures, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that it is `encouraging' to see private sector firms become increasingly aware of their data protection responsibilities.

However, drawing attention to the increase in data security breaches, Graham said that the private sector is seemingly not "putting its knowledge to good use"; and added that, as a result, "public confidence in good information handling is declining."