Big data and the insurance sector

Mar 2nd '17

The insurance sector is among those facing both the challenges and opportunities presented by the large volumes of data which are now available from sources such as social media.


How to benefit from this data explosion whilst respecting the rights of customers, maintaining people’s trust and complying with the law were the themes of an industry forum organised jointly by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and Financial Conduct Authority.


The event was an opportunity for the two regulators to hear concerns and questions from the insurance sector and outline what they are doing to help.


The ICO have published a document detailing the views expressed by participants at the event. Issues raised at the forum included how to explain the value of sharing data and how to tell customers what is happening to their data without overwhelming them with information. There were also discussions about how to gain meaningful consent; whether it’s possible to go beyond strict compliance and develop an ethical approach to data use; and how to ensure data quality.


These are concerns which will be particularly on businesses’ minds as they prepare for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force from May 2018 sets high standards for consent. The ICO is busy adding to its guidance to help organisations comply with the GDPR and will take into account the views expressed at the forum when doing so. Whilst they don’t aim to produce sector-specific guidance, the ICO are happy to work with organisational sectors wanting to produce their own GDPR guidance.


In addition to the various GDPR guidance documents the ICO will be publishing in the coming months, they will also soon be issuing an updated version of their Big Data guidance. This will pick up on some of the points raised at the insurance sector forum.


Businesses can keep updated with all the latest GDPR guidance through the dedicated data protection reform page on the ICO website, as well as through the ICO’s e-newsletter.


Author: Carl Wiper


Carl is a Group Manager in the ICO’s Policy Delivery department. His career has been in information management, research and libraries in the local government, not-for-profit, higher education and private sectors.


Source: ICO



GDPR consent guidance out for consultation

The ICO has publicised a draft version of its GDPR consent guidance which is going out for consultation. You can offer your views on the draft guidance here from Friday 3 March. The deadline for submissions is 31 March.


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