Feeds

Straw grants ICO half its wish list

Some new powers but not enough

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More than a year after the government lost the discs containing the UK's entire child benefit database Jack Straw is offering to increase the funding and powers of the Information Commissioner's Office.

The ICO wanted powers to investigate any organisation it suspected of failing to follow data protection principles. Straw is offering to let them probe public organisations but not private companies.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas welcomed new power to inspect public bodies but said: "We would have preferred to have this power to undertake audits extended to private sector organisations as well. "

Back in December 2007 Richard Thomas asked for stronger powers and better funding. He suggested private companies include a data protection statement in their annual reports so it would be signed off by chief executives. He also asked for a new criminal offence to be created.

Thomas also questioned whether the broad thrust of the government's data sharing policy really took privacy seriously.

The ICO is funded by charging organisations £35 to register data controllers - this fee is the same whether you are a huge government department or an individual holding a handful of people's details. Instead there will be a sliding scale of charges for different organisations going up to a maximum of £1,000. Some smaller firms will be exempt from charges.

This increase will give the ICO annual funding of around £16m compared to its current budget of £10m.

Meanwhile the government continues to lose data, albeit not on the scale of the HMRC's massive giveaway. It emerged yesterday that the MoD had lost 200 devices in the last year. Staff have lost 59 memory sticks, 62 laptops, 4 desktop computers and impressively 72 hard drives. Meanwhile thieves have made off with 6 memory sticks, 58 laptops, 8 desktops and 2 hard drives. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?