MPs and UK plc focus on customers’ data security in debate with UK Information Commissioner

9th Mar 2016

UK organisations must adhere to clearer standards when it comes to the collection, protection and use of customer data, according to MPs and business leaders attending a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service (APPG).

Arranged as part of the APPG’s efforts to raise customer service standards in the UK, attendees focused on what needs to be done to ensure consumer trust in UK organisations can be maintained.  Attendees heard from the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, and senior executives from organisations spanning the private and public sector.

The APPG meeting, for which the Institute of Customer Service provides secretariat support, highlighted a number of high-profile security failures which have raised customer concerns over the security of their data and outlined research published by the Institute of Customer Service (@instituteofcs) which suggests that 43 percent are concerned about cyber attacks.   Attendees also learned that many consumers want Government to take action as ‘big data’ continues to grow, with 84 percent wanting the Government to impose fines on organisations lacking sufficient safeguards and 86 percent wanting a review of data protection legislation.

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said: “The responsible use of Big Data can enhance the customer experience - but getting things wrong can really annoy customers and trash brands in the process. So there are threats as well as opportunities. Getting data protection right is key to the delivery of innovative services in the public sector too. The key point for all organisations to remember is that customers' personal data is just that - the customer's, not yours to do what you like with.”

Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, said: “Acceptance of the inevitability of cyber attacks may be a reality and this places the onus on organisations to outline what plans are in place to secure their customers’ data.  They also need to be transparent in the event of a breach and clear about how they will respond if cyber defences are broken.

“The fact is that a customer’s experience is determined not just by performance when things go well, but the promise of performance when things go wrong.  That’s why the organisations best able to deliver a strong, reassuring and detailed outline of their cyber strategy and demonstrate its execution will set themselves apart from their competitors and go a long way to securing the loyalty of customers in the long-term.”

Notes from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service will shortly be made available via www.instituteofcustomerservice.com.

Ends

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:
Mike Petrook, Institute Press Office
E: [email protected] 
T:  020 7260 2631

About The Institute of Customer Service
The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance.  The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 500 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 4,000 individual memberships.  For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com 

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