Ouch! The UK Government hasn’t had it easy of late and this new blow is a bit of a sore one.

ICO, the Information Commissioners Office have announced that they are questioning the Government over the way it handles and processes data gathered from their website, Gov.uk.

It follows claims by Buzzfeed that;

“Boris Johnson has secretly ordered the Cabinet Office to turn the government’s public internet service into a platform for “targeted and personalised information” to be gathered in the run-up to Brexit”.

Gov.uk is the Government’s main portal for the public to access online services of HMRC, the DVLA and the Passport Office among many others. So as you can imagine this covers a wide spread of personal and in some cases sensitive information.

The political implications of data processing and analysis came to the fore of public attention during the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked the internet in 2018. It served to highlight the true motives behind companies who request personal information from users, under the guise of entertainment and the consequences of providing it.

ICO is the UK public watchdog responsible for overseeing the ever-present world of data processing and ensuring that the GDPR guidelines set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 are followed.

In 2018, they fined Facebook £500,000 for their part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This was the maximum fine available at the time but under current laws, the fine could be up to 4% of global turnover – which in Facebook’s case is a potential fine of over £1.2 billion.

That certainly is an eye watering sum, even for the big boys, but it’s important to remember that the ICO is there to enforce the law on all companies who process data, no matter how small.

Cyber security is a major part of securing your data. It involves a vital combination of hardware and software security measures on your network, as well as good quality training for staff and clear policies and expectations for them to follow.

This can be difficult to implement on your own, especially for small or medium sized companies without a dedicated IT department.

Ascent Cyber are offering a free Cyber Security audit to small and medium sized businesses, to check the security of your network and help you protect sensitive info from prying eyes!

Get in touch with us today on the link below, to find out how we can help you avoid a nasty fine!

Contact us today to arrange your free audit!