The storage and handling of electronic data seems to have been something of a hot topic lately. HM Government has fallen foul of the rules in headline-grabbing style this year, along with high profile businesses such as Marks & Spencer and NatWest.
But under the 1998 Data Protection Act, any business could face a fine of up to £5000 for non-compliance. If you keep any personal information in electronic format about suppliers, customers, employees or members of the public you will probably need to register as a ‘data controller’. You must keep this information secure and up to date.. and these are just two of the eight data protection principles applied by the Act.
Compliance also makes good business sense. It’s a waste of time and money sending out direct mail using out-of-date records. Conversely, good information handling can have a positive impact on the reputation of your business.
Comprehensive guidance and information is available at www.ico.gov.uk