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Wide ranging ethical use of data is becoming a reality

The ICO has released its guidance discussing privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) in detail.

Those organisations who champion the ethical use of personal data — Weightmans being one — have arguably received a boost from the Information Commissioners Office (“ICO”) publication of its draft guidance on privacy enhancing technologies (“PETs”).

The ICO’s aim is to “…help organisations to unlock the potential of data by putting a data protection by design approach into practice”. Here, at Weightmans, we have always stressed the economic and strategic value of data to organisations. However, we also believe that it is important to use such valuable business assets in an ethical manner. The ethos of this draft guidance is to assist your business in benefiting from the utilisation of data, albeit ethically and in full compliance with data protection laws.

John Edward, the UK Information Commissioner, argues that “…by enabling organisations to share and collaboratively analyse sensitive data in a privacy-preserving manner, PETs open up unprecedented opportunities to harness the power of data through innovative and trustworthy applications”. The draft guidance will be the foundation of this admirable aim, which should benefit your business. The draft guidance sets out the potential types of PETs — technologies which will assist your business to share and use personal data responsibly, lawfully and securely — together with the benefits of using PETs, ranging from commercial value to legal compliance.

This is an important moment for your business relating to its future plans and growth with regard to data use. So, get involved and have your say, help shape the future. The ICO’s Consultation is open until 31 December 2022 — share your thoughts with us and we would be delighted to feedback to the ICO on your behalf.

Please get in touch with our team our data protection and GDPR solicitors in relation to all aspects of data protection, information governance, privacy, cyber liability and electronic communications.