Companies failing to ensure compliance with Data Protection Act

Just
49 per cent of UK companies have documented procedures to ensure compliance
with the Data Protection Act, research reveals.

A
survey by Policy Matter suggests that most UK organisations do not know whether
they are fully compliant or not.

The
majority of firms distribute new policies by e-mail (62 per cent) or hard copy
(35 per cent) – but only 22 per cent actively record the acceptance of policy
by employees.

Of
the organisations surveyed, 31 per cent choose to rely on clauses in employment
contracts to ensure employees read new policies.

Nathan
Millard, a lawyer working with Policy Matter, said: "We’ve seen cases in
recent months where an employee’s obligation to keep themselves up-to-date with
new policies has not been sufficient to protect an organisation in court.  Creating a policy in a handbook or e-mail
and taking no real steps to effectively publish it simply isn’t enough –
organisations need to ensure staff are aware of current policy and that they
fully understand it."

By Ben Willmot

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