Data-protection watchdog offers toolkit for analytics projects

ICO offers resources to assess legality and work with data subjects

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The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched a toolkit for projects using analytics on personal data.

The toolkit helps organisations think through the potential risks and data-protection issues they need to consider at the start of any data analytics project. For the purposes of the toolkit, the ICO defines data analytics as the use of software to automatically discover patterns in data sets containing personal data and using them to make predictions, classifications or risk scores.

The toolkit sets out a series of questions around four themes: lawfulness; accountability and governance; data protection principles; and data subject rights. 

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Once the questions have been answered, the toolkit will produce a short report that suggests practical actions to take and provides links to additional guidance to improve data protection compliance.

The toolkit is anonymous and the answers are not visible to or retained by the ICO. The regulator is recommending that all organisations use the toolkit.

It said: “It is vital that data protection is built in from the start when using data analytics to process personal data. This is not only the law, but it’s a crucial step to gaining public trust and confidence in the technology and how your organisation is using people’s data.”


Sam Trendall

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