Feeds

MPs call for stronger data protection laws

And more cash for ICO

High performance access to file storage

A committee of MPs has dismissed government denials that recent data losses were the result of individual failures and called for legislation to punish such reckless treatment of private data in future.

The Commons Justice Committee recommended the introduction of new offences so that a data controller could be charged for recklessly or intentionally disclosing, or obtaining, personal data.

The committee heard evidence from Information Commissioner Richard Thomas and others in the wake of the loss of 25 million private records by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

MPs echoed fears raised by Thomas that there could well be further data breaches.

The committee also noted that government departments cannot currently be held responsible for data breaches.

The Commons Justice Committee said it hoped the government would increase inspection powers for the ICO so that it could carry out spot checks on government departments.

It also called for changes to how the Information Commissioner is funded. Currently, a basic fee of £35 is paid to register as a data controller regardless of the size or turnover of the business. The committee suggests a sliding scale of charges.

In conclusion, the select committee made three points: "There is evidence of a widespread problem within government relating to establishing systems for data protection and operating them adequately."

Secondly, "It is necessary to have a substantial increase in the powers given to the Information Commissioner to enable him to review systems for data protection and their application..."

Finally, the MPs noted the risks involved in wider information exchange between government departments: "The very real risks associated with greater sharing of personal data between government departments must be acknowledged in order for adequate safeguards to be put in place."

The justice committee page is here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.