“It’s data protection gone mad”

Data protection seems to have a bit of an image problem. What began with such good intentions is fast becoming a scapegoat for silly decisions, overzealous practitioners and an awful lot of paperwork.

Slightly bonkers stories, such as the letter featured in The Guardian last month from a lady whose purse had been shredded ‘for data protection purposes’, has led to data protection being viewed in the same irrational light as human rights and health and safety.

All three concepts are perfectly sensible and lovely, but are too often misunderstood. Scared of the consequences of getting these things wrong, organisations tend to over-compensate leading to measures such as banning triangular flapjacks and refusing to sell knitting needles.

Admittedly it keeps a small army of Daily Express journalists in work but it’s not good for those of us who’d rather keep our data, health and human rights safe.

The truth is that data protection does need to be a serious concern for all organisations. Everyone needs to comply with the 8 key principles of the act or face fines of up to £500,000.

However, it is possible to comply without inconveniencing your customers, without hundreds of convoluted processes and without making yourselves look stupid.

The IT Governance DPA Foundation Course is a one-day introduction to the act. Led by an expert, the foundation will dispel the myths and make sure you get data protection right.