The DMA UK has announced its support for the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to receive increased powers when investigating misuse of personal data.
Following the publication of the ICO’s annual report this week, which revealed that a record number of complaints had been received by the organisation last year, ICO commissioner Richard Thomas requested the stronger powers.
Mr Thomas described the report’s findings as “horrific,” as some 24,000 enquiries and complaints about personal information issues were sent to the ICO in 2006 to 2007, ten per cent of which were about direct marketing.
Under current legislation, the ICO can only audit organisations’ handling of personal information with their consent, but the commissioner would like to see policies in place whereby stronger audit and inspection practices can be implemented in cases where poor practice is suspected.
The DMA and ICO warned that bad data management led to poor results within the competitive market and businesses would do better to follow data protection legislation.