SMEs must do more on data protection, says ICO

SMEs must do more on data protection, says ICO

Customer information must remain accurate and up-to-date

Small businesses have a much lower awareness of the principles of the Data Protection Act than larger organisations, according to research commissioned by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

To help raise awareness, the Information Commissioner is publishing additional guidance today, aimed specifically at the small business sector.

Firms are aware of the spirit of the act but not the details, said Information Commissioner Richard Thomas.

"Companies, large and small, have a responsibility to ensure their customers’ information is secure and accurate. Businesses must take this responsibility seriously," he said.

Just more than half of small businesses recognise the importance of keeping customers’ personal information secure, according to the ICO survey. But only 22 per cent are aware that they are required to keep customer information accurate and up to date.