MPs call examination of data privacy issues

A committee of MPs has stated that companies in the UK are not fully using their accessible data, which has a knock-on effect on the performance of the British economy.

The Science and Technology Committee revealed that it has been estimated that businesses only analyse 12 per cent of the data they have access to. The committee’s statistics reveal that companies that make more use of the data they have available can be as much as 10 per cent more productive.

The report from the committee pointed out a number of data security issues that need to be addressed if companies are to make more use of the data. It calls upon both UK companies and the government to look at the concerns that people have about data security and privacy so that businesses can use the data more fully in the future.

The report states that the provision of easy to understand and easy to use privacy notices will “empower the consumer to decide exactly how far they are willing to trust each data-holder they engage with”, which will be commercially advantageous for companies. The committee also wants people to have the freedom to withdraw consent for their data to be used.

A new code of practice on privacy notices devised by the Information Commissioner’s Office is at the consultation stage, with the initial draft recommending that companies take a “blended approach” to keeping users up to date on how their data is being used.