Wednesday, 9 December 2009

ICO Personal Information Online - Code of Practice - consultation

The UK Information Commissioner have announced a consultation on a draft code of practice -

"which will provide organisations with a practical and common sense approach to protecting individuals’ privacy online. The new draft guidance explains how the law applies and calls on organisations to give people the right degree of choice and control over their personal information, for instance by giving them clear privacy choices or making it easier for people to erase their personal information at the end of a browsing session."

The consultation begins on 9 December 2009 and ends on 5 March 2010.

What makes life unnecessarily difficult for those wanting to read the consultation document is that the ICO are using a new "consultation portal" where you can respond online, but the link to read and comment on the consultation document only leads to a list of links to the contents -

They really should be providing a single page HTML option (or single document PDF option) so that people can print out the entire document in one go. Many of us are going to want to do that so we can read it on the Tube etc, or even just in the office. It's too tedious to click and print 13 sections separately.

I can understand their wanting to separate comments section by section, but why not give us the option to print the whole thing to read?

There's a Search box but it doesn't work (I tried it in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome), please give me a single PDF or webpage I can search -

There's a "What do these do?" link at the bottom which when clicked pops up info about event feeds, yet there isn't an RSS or Atom feed link, which would be one of the most useful things for people wanting to keep up to date with comments being added about the consultation document (one for the whole thing and one feed for each section, perhaps). I feel newsfeeds would be much useful for those interested in this than the StumbleUpon etc links, anyway.

As you can tell, I don't think this consultation portal is as good as it could be, if the aim is to encourage consultation responses.

As for the substantive content, I'll post my views if I find the time to print out all 13 sections! Probably over the Christmas break.

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.