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Why Your Financial Data Matters – the Work of the Information Commissioners Office

We live in a data driven world and when it comes to your financial data, ensuring that your personal and sensitive information is kept as secure as possible.


With a number of well publicised data breaches, the need to keep your sensitive financial data both secure and regulated is of the utmost importance. What is needed is a body that has not only a strategic oversight as to the way in which financial organisations and advisers keep and utilise your data but also to provide an important point of recourse in case of a breach in standards.


Introducing the Information Commissioners Office


Simply put, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent arbiter of your information rights and protection.


Today’s world is driven by the need for data and you finances are no exception – every decision that you and your financial product partners make regarding your pensions, investments, protections, savings and investments are supported by reams of data sets that allow both parties to make the right decisions.


From sharing personal contact details to providing your latest financials, it is impossible to engage a service in today’s world without imparting some sensitive information. Whilst essential you need to have piece of mind that the data protection legislation that governs our day to day transactions remains in place.


Safeguarding Your Data and Protecting Your Rights


The ICO ensures this is the case in a number of ways by allowing you a number of core rights as to how your personal data is secured and used.


The ICO ensures your personal data rights by enshrining:


  • Your right to be informed if your personal data is being used – An organisation must inform you if it is using your personal data.
  • Your right to get copies of your data – You have the right to find out if an organisation is using or storing your personal data.
  • Your right to get your data corrected – You can challenge the accuracy of personal data held about you by an organisation.
  • Your right to get your data deleted – You can ask an organisation to delete personal data that it holds about you.
  • Your right to limit how organisations use your data – You can limit the way an organisation uses your personal data.
  • Your right to data portability – You have the right to get your personal data from an organisation in a way that is accessible.
  • The right to object to the use of your data – You have the right to object to the processing or use of your personal data in some circumstances.
  • Your rights relating to decisions being made about you without human involvement – Decisions are made about you when your personal data is processed automatically.
  • Your right to access information from a public body – Make a request for information from a public body.
  • Your right to raise a concern– Tell an organisation if you’re concerned about how they are using your data.


It is fairly obvious to state that if you are looking to engage an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA), or any other financial product partner you will have to gladly impart some data, but be rest assured the UK and EU legislation that governs the use of your data allows for hefty fines and legal repercussions should there be a breach in protocols.


Your data rights remain inalienable and any IFA worth their salt will not only follow these rules to the letter but keep  you fully updated with any changes to the legislation and what this would mean for you.


Keeping Your Financial Data Secure – Your Point of Recourse in the Case of a Data Breach


In the odd case that there is a breach in the established norms and standards, as outlined by any of the above core rights that any data-holding organisation will adhere to, there are a number of things that you can do. The ICO will be able to assist you with any complaints that need to be made and offer some sound advice.


Specifically the ICO can:

  • Register and action your personal information concerns
  • Stop unwanted and nuisance calls
  • Help you if you have trouble accessing requested public or private body information
  • Assist if you have any concerns about the use of website cookie data


Whilst the vast majority of interactions and transactions with your IFA or financial product provider will be painless, compliant and above board, you have every right to ensure that your personal and financial data is secure and used in line with the legal norms. The ICO provides this assurance.


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