Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Data Protection and Charities

The Jan 2011 paper needs you to be able to write about the risks to charities of using the interwebz. It specifically requires you to write about the "relevance of the Data Protection Act to charities".

I'm sure there is lots about this on the interwebz. Lots and lots.

The Conversation:
I had a question. The question went like this:
"Hey, Mr F dude, this booklet thingy I printed off the interwebz, it's about the Data Protection Act. It's wikid, look - it tells you everything about the Data Protection Act and charities. Kewl eh?! Blud"
My reply:
"Hmm, Emily, this appears to be from the Isle of Man. I wonder if their Data Protection Act is the same as the UK one"
And, guess what? They're similar, but not exactly the same.

So - be careful where you're getting your Data Protection Act information from! Lots of places have something called very similar.

The Happy Ending:
As a result of  our conversation, I wandered over to the Information Commissioner's Office website (that's the dude who is in charge of Data Protection in the UK - so we know this is a pukka source). If you go there you'll see it has a search bar at the top right. Try typing charities into it and hitting the search button.

Make sure you're looking for the right sort of information:
  • what the data protection is - it's date and that sort of general background
  • what charities have to do to comply with the data protection act
  • why they need to comply with it
  • what might happen if they don't

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