Explain the legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business information

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Legal ethical and operational issues effecting business information

A business comes across very sensitive information about employees, customers and any stakeholders therefore they are obliged to laws to keep operating. There are certain acts in which businesses have to follow by law and some other information should be kept protected even though by law a business is not obliged to do it; this is because of ethics and if they do not oblige by these they can be in trouble with the law which may lead to them paying a £5,000 which is not a problem for bigger business but for smaller organisations £5,000 is a lot for them to pay. For ethical issues people may be concerned and campaigns can start against a business for not keeping this information secure, this would be bad publicity for the company and it would mean less people would want to do business with them because they do not keep information that is of interest to the public, this information can include: Photo’s, Phone numbers and email addresses. The operational information that would affect a business is: security of information which means they need to keep sensitive information secured which they can by encrypting it, putting several passwords on so that only authorised personal are able to access the information.  

Data Protection Act:

Any organisation operating in the UK must comply with the DPA (1998.The DPA 1998 is act which manages how your personal information is used by businesses, the government or any organisation in which you have to give any sort of information. Any business or organisation that holds data needs to abide by a set of rules called ‘data protection principals’. By law they must make sure that the information that they hold is used fairly, lawfully, only used for the purpose which means if someone gives this information the organisation must only use it for the reason that the individual gave it for, it is not kept for any longer that it is supposed to be kept for, it is kept at a safe secure location. There is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information, such as: ethnic background, political opinions, religious beliefs and health. The SPA 1998 prevents your personal information being given to any third party without your consent if they fail to meet these require if a business fails to comply with the DPA legal procedures will be taken and this can be anything form a penalty The UK Information Commissioner's Office, loss of business and brand damage. The ICO has the power to Prosecute and issue fines of up to £500,000 and can take procedures which can lead to prison a sentence. An example of data protection act in process is that employers do not have access to the current employer’s job reference but they do have access to previous employer references.

The advantage to this is very significant in everyday life because it protect every Individual’s person details and information and make it illegal for anyone to have access to this information or anybody distribute this information. The disadvantage to a business may be that they have made a simple error such as not secure a customer’s private details securely and someone has got hold of this information therefore it is the businesses fault for not complying with the act there for they might be prosecuted and may be finned £5,000 for just making a simple mistake. Another disadvantage would be that to protect data that is confidential a business has to take procedures in ensuring that it is secured this can cost a lot for example encrypting that data may cost a business a lot of money which they may not be pay it.

Freedom of information act (2000)

This act came into process in 2005, which gives the right to every one living in the UK the right to have access to information about them which is held by public sector organisations such as: government departments and local authorities, schools, colleges and universities and other public sector organisation slice the police. A request for any other type of information is allowed to be made, other than requests by people concerning information about them,; this act does not give people access to their own personal records like their health records or credit reference file. If someone of the public wants to see information that a public organisation holds about them, they should make a subject access request which comes under the Data Protection Act 1998. A business will have to withhold information like credit card details and addresses of employees and customers and are only allowed to give it to the Card/Address holder only and an example of this would be if Sainsbury’s were asked for this information someone other than the Card/Address holder they would not be able to give this information under the DPA 1998.If the organisation denies giving this information under the FOIA (2000) they have to explain why they con not give this information.  An example of someone receiving this information would be when someone needs information on their criminal record from the police, under the FOIA (2000) they are allowed to receive this information. An example of someone being rejected this information would be when someone asks for somebody else’s criminal record. Another example may be if someone asks for their health record form the NHS they will be denied access to it unless they make a subject access request under the DPA 1998.

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An advantage would be that a business is able to ask a potential employ who wants to work at the job if they are able to provide information to verify that they do not have a criminal record. If an individual is applying for a director position place and they have previously been declared as bankrupt the new employer can seek this information and this would be of benefit to the company because they would not want someone who had been bankrupt before working for them. A disadvantage of this would be that if a person is applying for the ...

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