Clamping down on cold calling | A blog by Business Butler

Clamping down on cold calling

There’s been a significant surge in the number of predatory marketing calls in the UK, which as well as being extremely annoying is also a concern for data protection.

The UK’s data protection regulator has made fighting predatory marketing calls and supporting children’s privacy two of their main focuses to combat over the next three years as part of their new action plan. It’s good to hear that they are planning to help children’s privacy on the internet as these days a lot of data is just willingly shared on social media platforms without any second thought!

Saving businesses money

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are also planning to look into how exactly their algorithms are being used with the benefits systems and also want to take a deeper look into how the use of AI in recruitment is having an effect on minority groups.

John Edwards, who is the Information Commissioner, has specifically set out the regulator’s priorities in collaboration with the ICO25 plan which also includes a specific package of measures to take place that can help save UK businesses at least £100 million spanning across the next three years. They definitely have some big plans and if all goes well then some positive changes will be coming to UK businesses!

Mr Edwards was quoted saying: “My office will focus our resources where we see data protection issues are disproportionately affecting already vulnerable or disadvantaged groups,” He also added: “The more that we can take that uncertainty out of business decision-making, the more they can invest with confidence”

Following on from this he added the ICO will be more proactive on data protection issues instead of responding once a problem has occurred. The ICO will also take a different approach to public sector fines, prioritising improving data protection standards in the sector once a breach has arisen. When asked about implementing fines for public sector organisations, Mr Edwards thought they were a bigger disincentive in the private sector and expected the regulator to consider carefully about the reason behind issuing fines and what it was trying to accomplish.

Strong words from Mr Edwards and if all goes to plan then some big changes are set to take place! It’s looking like hopefully a positive time for everyone in the next three years!

Measuring success

Information Commissioner John Edwards also stated: “The impact that we can have on people’s lives is the measure of our success. This is what modern data protection looks like, and it is what modern regulation looks like.”

I for one am very happy with their approach and their openness with discussing how they measure their success. Measuring the success on how many lives you can affect, in a positive way, is very noble and other companies should take a look into their approach on this matter! What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with their approach and openness on discussing the matters at hand?

Advice available

Mr Edwards has also discussed that to help firms improve their compliance and save money the ICO is willing to publish their internal data protection and their freedom of information training material. Furthermore, they are also planning on creating a database where the ICO’s advice will be available to access. This being information they have previously provided to businesses that now the public would be able to gain access to. Anyone has access and can refer to the information when needed by anyone looking for data protection guidance. The ICO are really pulling out all the stops in their latest plan and let’s hope all goes well for the venture! By the sounds of it this has been really well thought and planned out to ensure protection and information is available for everyone.

Laser focussed

The commissioner John Edwards who started this role at the start of this year went on to tell the PA news agency that rather than spreading the regulator’s resources too thin they are taking a more laser focused approach that means it could “be more selective and try and apply our resources and regulatory tools so that they will have the greatest impact for the most people”. He also added: “It is absolutely clear to me that in a world of increasing demand, and shrinking resources, we simply cannot keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect the system to improve.”

It’s refreshing to see such an honest and well thought out approach to data protection and I for one am excited to see the results! Tell us about your thoughts on this? How do you think it will do? Do you think enough is being done?

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