What to do when your personal data is at risk?

Every time you buy something on the internet you are asked to provide your personal details and you happily give them. But did you know that the company you are using has a responsibility to protect this information? But what would you actually do if you suspect an organisation was misusing your personal data?

You have data rights: I'm sure you'll remember the introduction of GDPR and all the hype surrounding it but it actually provided useful privacy rights. Your personal information belongs to you, so it's very important that your information is used only in the ways that you would reasonably expect and that it's protected. The UK has a data regulator, which is called the ICO, who is there to help you but would you know your data rights and how to complain? Many don't. In fact, in May 2021, the ICO ran a survey and discovered that nearly a third of all adults in the UK didn't know the existence of ICO and that the majority of the public were either not aware or unsure as to how they could use their data rights. In the first instance, you need to contact the organisation: If you are unsure that the information an organisation holds about you is correct or if they have too much, you have a right to ask them to supply you with your personal information that they hold. You also have the right to change or delete this information. In the first instance, you must contact the company and request the information they hold. They must supply this by law within a month. If they do not do this, you can make a formal complaint to the ICO. John Knight, a privacy consultant with DLP Assured says "it's a real shame that a substantial number of UK adults aren't familiar with their data protection rights. I'm often asked by friends and family, about what to do when things go wrong and in many cases, it's fairly simple but at the end of the day it's a vital skill to have in this day and age. Learn more about GDPR consultancy.

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