We have an opportunity to strengthen a vital part of the Data Protection Act that will help stop companies and individuals from abusing your personal data.
Currently only citizens – who rarely have the expertise, ability or time – are able to initiate complaints when data law is broken. Privacy watchdogs like Open Rights Group don’t have the same freedom, stopping them from safeguarding the public.
Today we have a rare chance to make data protection lawserve everyone better. The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sports (DCMS) is holding a public call for views on the powers for NGOs to independently bring forward complaints about data protection breaches and your voice can make all the difference.
The call for views ends 22 October
Please tell the DCMS to make the Data Protection Act stronger, and work for everyone.
You can use the following points to help craft your own unique message.
- Data processing operations are deeply complex and systemic, like the problems with online advertising. Relying solely on individuals to identify problems is unrealistic. Privacy organisations have the expertise and knowledge to identify problems and protect individuals’ rights. They must be allowed to independently raise complaints to the ICO and complain to the court about controllers, processors or ICO failure.
- Some of the worst breaches of data protection law are attached to sensitive areas of our private lives, like tracking individual’s use of mental health websites. These areas need to be challenged but often are not because of their sensitivity. Giving organisations the power to bring complaints independently means these sensitivities will not prevent action from being taken to protect privacy.
- Consumer law allows for super-complaints from consumer organisations to take complaints about harm to consumers. By implementing Article 80(2), it would place data protection law on the same standards as consumer law.