Data Protection Commissioner launches his Annual Report for 2010 including special investigation on insurance data
Insurance Link Claims Database
The Commissioner is publishing the findings of the most wide ranging investigation yet undertaken by his Office of a database of personal data kept by the insurance sector known as Insurance Link. This is a shared claims database that allows member organisations to share and cross-reference their insurance claims data. At the time of the investigation it contained details of almost two and a half million claims. The investigation identified a major lack of transparency with regard to Insurance Link and that far too many individuals in insurance companies and other entities had access to the database with little or no oversight of that access. Some serious incidents of inappropriate access were identified and are listed in the report.
Data Security Breaches
The Commissioner reports on his publication of a data security breach Code of Practice. This was one of the recommendations of a Working Group set up by the previous Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform which also recommended a strengthening of our data protection laws to provide for penalties for serious breaches. The Code focuses on informing the people affected by security breaches so that they can take appropriate measures to protect themselves. It alsoencourages organisations to voluntarily report incidents to the Commissioner’s Office. 410 data security breach incidents were reported to the Office in 2010, a 350% increase on the number of reports received in the previous 12 months (there were 119 reports in 2009). This large increase in reporting is a consequence of the more exacting demands of the Code of Practice. The Commissioner reports on serious data security breach incidents that occurred in 2010 involving the GAA and SelfCatering.ie (see pages 77 and 79 of the Report). The report also includes details of an ongoing investigation of a breach affecting personal data held by the Department of Social Protection.
Data Sharing in the Public Sector
The Commissioner is publishing a set of guidelines for public sector agencies that wish to share personal data in the public interest – for example, to prevent tax evasion and other types of fraud. Transparency and proportionality are the key guiding principles. The sharing should be explicitly provided for by law. The public sector customer should know what personal data may be shared. The extent of sharing should be limited to what is necessary to achieve the public interest objective. The disclosed data should benefit from a high level of security and be securely destroyed when no longer needed.
The deployment and use of CCTV continues to give rise to complaints from members of the public. Investigations regarding the use of CCTV systems in schools, workplaces and in a small village, Culfadda in Sligo are detailed.
The report outlines concerns which arose following audits of charities. The report also provides information on positive engagements with the National Board for Safeguarding Children and the Catholic Church, the HSE in relation to its child welfare work in Limerick City and the Irish Council for General Practitioners.
The Commissioner’s report includes case studies of a number of investigations including:
· Prosecution of Ice Communications Ltd. for failing to comply with legal notices;
· Prosecution of three companies (Free Spirit Hair & Beauty Salon Ltd, Crunch Fitness Ltd and The Black Dog Communications Ltd) for sending marketing text messages;
- Prosecution of Fairco Ltd and Pure Telecom for calling numbers listed on the NDD opt-out register;
- Prosecution of Tesco for email marketing;
- Prosecution of UPC for offences related to unsolicited marketing phone calls;
- Deployment of biometric systems by commercial service providers and schools;
- Use of vehicle tracking systems
- Disclosure of previous defence force career information by the Defence Forces
- Disclosure of personal data by a housing association to a debt collection agent.
Note: The Annual Report is available for download in PDF format from the Data Protection Commissioner’s website: www.dataprotection.ie
This month’s Digital Digest went out this week. It’s just under a year now since we’ve been using the Newsweaver system and we are really happy with it. It was especially useful while we were organising Congress as we had different groups involved in different ways: speakers, shortlistees, demonstrators and, of course, delegates. It really helped smooth some of the processes of communicating important information about Congress.
So it is with dismay that I read in my Campaign Monitor ezine (and about 2 seconds later in an email from IIA Member Pixel Design – thank you very much!) that Microsoft are planning to go ahead with their plan to use “the crippled Word rendering engine to display HTML emails in Outlook 2010” as Campaign Monitor and The Email Standards Project put it.
I think Microsoft are doing lots of great things and I love and use some of their products regularly and happily. But I also love my ezines. I’ve been writing ezines for about eight years now and trying to keep up to speed on what works and what doesn’t in email. I know that many of the beautiful email newsletters that we see today came about from painstaking developing and care for cross platform/ browser/ email client compatibility. Email marketing can be really effective but it has to be able to relate visually to everything else a company produces online. It must reinforce that relationship so that even if a subscriber signed up on your site a week, a month or more previously, they will instantly recognise your brand and style in their inbox no matter what email client they use. You can read another interesting perspective on this issue on Long Zheng’s Blog who points out that while Outlook 2010 may have problems there are other email clients that are equally questionable when it comes to HTML rendering. If you do any sort of communication with your clients via email you should care about this issue and if you use Twitter you should add your voice to the campaign at fixoutlook.org
And if you aren’t emailing your clients em… right. I don’t know what to say to you. Try this for starters maybe?
A guest post from Chris Byrne in Sensorpro about a new way to serve feedback surveys at conferences.
For the Irish Internet Association (IIA) Word of Mouse conference, we needed a slick way to get attendee feedback. As a survey vendor, it’s a simple task to deploy a survey with all the bells and whistles you would expect, like via email, popup, link, twitter post or embedded in a blog – but on this occasion we wanted something a little different. We wanted audience reaction in real-time without the expense and hassle of gizmos. So how about Bluetooth then? After all, many in the audience had a gizmo already – a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone (or cell phone, if you prefer!) Thanks to a snappy response from Shane at Mobanode we had our survey deployed on his Bluetooth box in minutes. As soon as we hit the “fire” button, the survey was deployed to 23 phones with just 1 rejection – not a shabby response rate! Roseanne from IIA was live twittering – so she had the twitter world peeking over her shoulder. Not only did this method garner dynamic feedback from the immediate audience – but also picked up twitter eavesdroppers with the browser link. If you want to try event feedback that is different, is relevant and a gizmo that actually works – then try this.
The Irish Internet Association invites tenders from member companies to develop a cutting edge email marketing communications application. The IIA wish to develop their email marketing to reflect the needs of their membership and improve communications with them.
Currently the IIA publish regular Event Alerts to notify subscribers about upcoming events and a monthly Digital Digest which summarises members’ and industry news, vacancies, appointments and tenders. The IIA hopes to improve on this model to ensure timely and relevant communications with its subscribers.
All interested parties should contact Roseanne Smith, Membership, Marketing and Communications Manager at email@example.com for the full tender document.
Closing date for completed tenders is 21 July 2008.
Only tenders from IIA members will be considered. You can join the IIA in four easy steps.
Congratulations to Brandmail, not because of their spanking new piece of silverware which they received at the All Ireland Marketing Awards for Marketing Innovation but for becoming the latest new member of the IIA.
There is no doubt that Brandmail’s product is innovative. Brandmail seek to protect their clients reputation by signing and sealing their email:
“When an email is sent, the SbS2.0 (TM) Writer “signs” that email using a cryptographic hash function. This cryptographic signature is the modern equivalent of a wax seal used by royalty to protect important messages – identifying who sent the message and verifying its authenticity. “
What an end user sees in their inbox is the sender’s logo with a Brandmail’s trademark secure icon beside it, the sender being a Brandmail client. It’s a simple yet effective way to boost trust and as Brandmail themselves say:
“A brand is more than a trademark, it’s a trustmark”