The UK’s data protection watchdog has cautioned Brits against handing over too much personal information when returning to the bar.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is particularly concerned about the rise of mobile apps that punters can use to order food and drink to a table.
Many require you to hand over personal details or create an account just to get a round in.
The UK’s data privacy body suggests venues should only ask for data that is ‘relevant and necessary’.
Paul Arnold, deputy chief executive of the ICO, said: ‘People are excited to be going out again and the innovations that have emerged through the pandemic can make that experience safer, easier and more enjoyable.
‘But you shouldn’t have to give up too much of your personal data to order a pizza or a pint.
‘Businesses should keep it simple, fair and transparent and we’re here to help.’
Apps were widely adopted for ordering food and drink during the pandemic, in a bid to reduce physical contact and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
With many of these new tools likely to stay in place, businesses have been warned by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that they must still comply with data protection law and only collect personal data that is necessary and relevant.
‘We understand and appreciate the challenge that many small businesses have faced during the pandemic,’ Mr Arnold said.
‘Our focus is on supporting and enabling them to handle people’s data responsibly from the outset, and to help the thousands of businesses that are doing their best to continue to keep recovering from the pandemic.’
The ICO advises people to check the privacy notice of the ordering app to find out what the business intends to do with their data, looking out for who is collecting their information, what it is going to be used for, and whether it will be shared with other organisations.
Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, added: ‘Many people agree to various terms and conditions without question, which may seem frivolous or inconsequential at the time.
‘However, later on this data can be abused or added to a profile of previously-stored information and then used illicitly.
‘I would urge people to think about every app on their phone and every website they visit as to what personal data they give away. The more our lives become digital, the more we need to protect our digital lives and limit the data we reveal.
‘From password managers to restricting what information you give away, remember: the local pub doesn’t need your full name or primary email address to bring a drink to your table.’
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