ICO urges firms to grant personal data access

Companies need to give people more access to personal information held about them, according to UK data protection authority the Information Commissioner's Office.More than a third of complaints the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received over the past financial year concerned "mishandled subject access requests", the ICO said in a statement on Friday.

Companies need to give people more access to personal information held about them, according to UK data protection authority the Information Commissioner's Office.

More than a third of complaints the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received over the past financial year concerned "mishandled subject access requests", the ICO said in a statement on Friday.

"Organisations that handle personal information need to remember that customer records are not simply their property — the individuals who do business with them also have rights," said information commissioner Christopher Graham. "The result of mishandling requests is not simply a blip on customer service satisfaction levels, it can cause individuals a great deal of upset."

The financial sector had the most complaints in 2010/11 about letting people know information held about them, said the ICO. Health organisations and policing and justice bodies also attracted a number of data access complaints, the ICO added.

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