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UK: ICO publishes blog on data protection in housing sector

On December 5, 2023, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) published a blog titled 'How data protection law can prevent harm in the housing sector'. In particular, the blog outlines the obligations of housing organizations under data protection law. Further, the blog discusses common data protection issues in the housing sector and suggests ways these issues could be prevented. 

What are the common issues in the housing sector?

According to the blog, the following are the frequent data protection challenges housing organizations face:

  • inappropriate disclosures of personal data;
  • wrongful application of data protection law to prevent responsible sharing of information; and

  • failure to keep accurate records.

What are the practical steps housing organizations can take?

Notably, the blog outlines several practical steps organizations can take to ensure that they process and share residents' personal information lawfully, including:

  • training staff on the organization's data protection obligations;
  • practicing good records management, including keeping an accurate record of contact with residents;
  • informing residents about what information about them is being collected and the purposes for which it is used;
  • appointing a data protection officer (DPO) if required; and
  • consulting the ICO's data-sharing resources when in doubt.

You can read the blog here.