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Individuals' awareness of their rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) has reached an all time high, according to new research published from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

It said 90 per cent of individuals know they have a right to see information that an organisation holds about them compared to 74 per cent three years ago.

The nationwide survey reveals that 87 per cent of individuals know they have the right to correct inaccurate personal information held about them – a 10 per cent increase from three years ago.

The ICO said the research highlights how protecting personal information is becoming an increasing concern for many individuals. Nine out of 10 adults worry that organisations are failing to keep their personal information secure while six in ten believe they have lost control over the way their personal information is collected and processed.

It also shows that 94 per cent of individuals are concerned that organisations are selling their personal details to other organisations without permission. People now consider protecting their personal information as the second most socially important issue above the NHS, national security, and environmental issues.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has made the results available to the House of Lords Constitution Committee for its hearings on the surveillance society.

"It is encouraging that so many people are now aware of their rights under the Data Protection Act and are taking the protection of their personal information more seriously," he said.

"Organisations also have a responsibility to ensure customer information is protected. High standards of security and records management will ensure that companies and public authorities retain the trust and confidence of those who use their services."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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