ICO launches the ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign

Internet of Things

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is launching the ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign to help the general public understand how organisations use their data.

The ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign helps people understand how organisations might be using their data to target them online, as well as informing people on how they can control it. The campaign includes educating others on how organisations use people’s data to reach them with social media adverts.

An investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes, conducted by the ICO, discovered that algorithms, analysis, data matching and profiling of personal information were being used ‘behind the scenes’. Following the investigation, one of the recommendations was to continue to educate the public on the impact of new and developing technologies and the use of data analytics in political campaigns.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“Our goal is to effect change and ensure confidence in our democratic system. And that can only happen if people are fully aware of how organisations are using their data, particularly if it happens behind the scenes.

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, focus is falling on how companies collect and use data. Especially with third-party advertisers, there is great concern surrounding data protection. Thus the campaign reminds people of their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how to exercise them.

“New technologies and data analytics provide persuasive tools that allow campaigners to connect with voters and target messages directly at them based on their likes, swipes and posts. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law,” Denham added.


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