New Fair Data badge launched on Data Protection Day

Arrives amidst Google Safari privacy concerns

In a last ditch attempt to restore public trust in private companies that operate on the internet, the Market Research Society has launched a new gold standard in data usage

The Market Research Society has launched a new ‘Personal Data Mark’ that aims at reassuring internet users that accredited websites treat their personal data appropriately.

Launched on ‘Data Protection Day’, the Fair Data badge will be available to businesses and websites that sign up and comply with the new mark’s principles for the use of personal data. Those backing the new initiative hope it will allow internet users to easily identify organisation which collect, use and retain personal data properly and ethically, and those that don’t.

The Fair Data badge will be based on ten core principles, which include gaining appropriate consent, allowing customers to access their own data and not passing it on to others.

Jane Frost, Chief Executive of the Market Research Society, believes the public need help in identifying which websites are trustworthy: “Public concern is at an all-time high and we are getting increasing numbers of complaints about data use. This is about fundamental respect for the people whose data we all rely on for commercial and public purposes and about getting to the very basis of the right way information should be gathered.”

The new initiative is also backed by the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham: “If the public are to let their personal data be used then they need to know which organisations they can trust to use it properly. Organisations need to make a public, visible commitment to standards in the handling of the personal data of others.”

The launch of the Fair Data badge comes amid fresh allegations made against internet giants Google, suggesting that the company has found ways of bypassing Apple security settings on iPhone, iPad and desktop versions of Apple’s Safari web browser, to secretly track the online habits of millions of internet users.

An estimated 10 million Britons could have grounds to launch a privacy claim against Google, and at least 10 British iPhone users have already started legal proceedings, and dozens more are being lined up, according to Dan Tench, the lawyer behind the action at the London-based firm Olswang.

This latest legal action comes just months after Google was fined £14.5million in the US, over a privacy breach between summer 2011 and spring 2012.

Source: The Telegraph