New seal for IT-security and responsible data use is in its way

Published 31-10-2019

It should be easier for consumers to identify companies who are treating customer data responsibly, and companies should have the opportunity to brand themselves on IT-security and data ethics. That is the goal with a new labelling system presented today.

The Danish government has a strong focus on data ethics and IT-security. Therefore, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs is proud to present the prototype of a new labelling system for IT-security and responsible data use - the first of its kind.

The Danish Industry Foundation has granted 18 million DKK. to the continued work on the new labelling scheme which will be organised by the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and SMEdenmark. The Danish Business Authority has contributed with the development of the prototype of the labelling scheme, and the Danish Consumer Counsil becomes part of the upcoming board.

Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Simon Kollerup:

“In this digital age responsible handling of data is an incredibly important agenda. We are constantly leaving digital footprints and handing over all kinds of data. Therefore, it is important for consumers to feel safe and comfortable with the way companies are handling their personal data.

The idea behind this new labelling scheme is to make it easier for consumers to actively choose companies with a responsible behaviour in terms of data ethics.

At the same time a label such as this will make it more appealing for companies to up their game in terms of IT-security and responsible data use as it will become a parameter on which companies can market themselves.”

With the funds the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and SMEdenmark now has to finalise the labelling system for it-security and responsible data use, which is expected to launch during the first half of 2020.

Tim Sloth Jørgensen, Chief of the Danish Industry Foundation Cyber program

“The cybersecurity and data seal will not only provide better insights towards who is working seriously and focused with it-security and data handling. It will be a lever for the multitude of companies who would like to increase their knowledge about cybersecurity but is lacking necessary guidelines and help to get started and reach their goal. The cybersecurity and data seal is an important part of the Danish Industry Foundation’s cyber security program and with such a wide variety of supporting collaborators I think the seal might become a tangible lever for enhanced it-security and data use in many Danish companies.”

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, CEO the Confederation of Danish Industry:

”Citizens are entitled to and have a demand for companies to treat their data responsibly and safely. The data seal will help companies and at the same time create an increased demand for digital responsibility. Trust in data can be an important competitive advantage to Denmark.

Brian Mikkelsen, CEO, the Danish Chamber of Commerce:

“We have an ambition of providing cyber security a solid lift across the business community, so that all types of companies are involved. This is to strengthen trust and, ultimately, make cyber security a Danish position of strength. This initiative will promote cyber security as a practical and tangible endeavor no matter the size of a company, starting point or prerequisites”.

Ane Buch, Director, SMEdenmark:

“It-security and the ways in which we handle data is changing the ways we do business these years. What you do, how you do it and not least the uncertainty which comes with the difference between doing ‘something’ and doing ‘enough’ is constantly top of mind in the heads of business owners. This seal will raise the level of knowledge in companies, so that it-security is not just something you implement, but you work with it continuously.”

Mette Raun Fjordside, Vice President, the Danish Consumer Counsil:

“The protection of consumer privacy has in recent years been of highest priority to Forbrugerrådet Tænk, and we are therefore pleased to have been invited to work with the agenda henceforth. Our goal with the seal is to improve safety, create transparency and ensure trust to the individual.”

In November 2018, a Danish expert group on data ethics recommended developing a labelling scheme regarding data ethics. In addition, a Danish IT security board in January 2019 recommended an IT security-labelling scheme. The new labelling scheme embraces both recommendations for the benefit of both consumers and businesses.

A study conducted by the Danish Business Authorities in collaboration with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority shows that more than 80 % of consumers would avoid shopping at companies if they suspect that their data is not being processed in a responsible way. At the same time, 65 % of the consumers participating in the survey say that their choice would be influenced by a labeling scheme showing which companies process their data responsibly.

The Danish Business Authority's work on the prototype has been carried out in a close dialogue with the business community and with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, including the Danish Consumer Council. The prototype on the labeling scheme will be available to anyone who wants to work with such a label.

Denmark is the first country to present a prototype for a comprehensive labeling scheme for IT security and responsible data use. The scheme can be the basis for the development of similar international initiatives, especially under EU auspices.