Earlier this year, the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner (JOIC) launched an anonymous survey, to explore islanders’ opinions and views on personal data privacy for the second consecutive year.
The ‘It’s All About You’ survey generated nearly 10% more responses than it achieved the previous year and highlights some interesting results and viewpoints around data protection and data privacy.
Islanders have greater understanding of their rights under local legislation
The Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 recently celebrated its fourth anniversary and it is encouraging to see from the survey results an increase from last year’s survey confirming that more people are aware of their personal data rights under the Law compared to 2021.
Under the Law, individuals have rights over the use and processing of their data. According to this year’s survey, 42% of respondents stated they had either a very good or good understanding of their rights compared to 35% who responded in 2021.
Islanders placing increasing importance on securing their personal data
When asked how important it was for companies to keep their data safe and secure; in 2021 81% of respondents said it was very important. That response has now risen to 88% meaning a larger number of people are prioritising the security of their personal data which suggests personal data privacy is becoming more instinctual.
Islanders understand the importance of protecting special category data
Special category data includes health data, genetic information and political views and demands heightened care from organisations that process it. The survey saw a 12% increase from 2021 in respondents stating they would be very concerned if their genetic data was compromised, while health data saw a 13% increase.
In fact, when asked how concerned they would be about any kind of special category data being compromised, including nationality, criminal records, date of birth and sexual orientation, all results revealed an increase from the previous year’s survey results. It is particularly important to understand the relevance of protecting special category data as there is a heightened risk of prejudice when it comes to these highly sensitive areas of personal information.
JOIC’s role is becoming more evident
When asked how familiar they were with the role of the JOIC, 21% stated they were very aware compared to just 14% in 2021 – that’s a 50% increase. This suggests that the local community has a greater understanding of the role that the independent regulator plays in promoting protection of their personal data and supporting organisations to follow good data protection practices.
Islanders more curious about who has access to their personal information
We asked a new question in this year’s survey which asked if the Covid-19 pandemic had raised individuals’ awareness of how much their personal information is being moved around or shared. 54% of respondents said they were made more aware or slightly more aware of who might have access to their personal information.
“The results gleaned from this year’s survey highlight a heightened awareness of the importance of data protection and data privacy,” explained Anne King, Operations Director at the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner.
“We’re delighted to see that our hard work engaging with the local community is leading to an increased awareness of our role and a greater understanding of individuals’ rights as detailed in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018. It’s encouraging to see that islanders are keen to learn more about data protection and are calling upon organisations to ensure they have good governance around the protection of their personal data.”