Feeds

Data breach howlers to get up to £500,000 fine

Ministry of Justice awaits Parliamentary approval

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Information Commissioner's Office is threatening to slap penalties of up to half a million pounds on data controllers who are found guilty of serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

According to a statement on the Ministry of Justice's website, the government is pushing for Parliamentary approval of its Civil Monetary Penalties - Setting the Maximum Penalty report.

"The main benefit of these proposals is greater compliance by data controllers, leading to greater public confidence in data handling practices. This increased confidence may encourage people to provide their details to bodies in both the public and private sectors," it said.

The ICO published the government's response to the public consultation, as well as its proposed overhaul to the DPA regulations, today.

"Between October 2007 to October 2008, 277 data security breaches were notified to the ICO, mainly IT-related loss/theft," the government said in its impact assessment report.

"These statistics provide examples which demonstrate the weakness of some organisations in processing data adequately and in full compliance with the data protection principles."

The government mulled several monetary penalties, before settling on a £500,000 maximum fine. It admitted that if the rules come into law, overall compliance costs for data controllers - of which there are around 319,000 in the UK across the private and public sectors as of 2009 UK.gov figures - would increase.

"Civil Monetary Penalties of up to half a million pounds will ensure that the Information Commissioner is able to impose robust sanctions on those who commit serious contraventions of the data protection principles," said Justice Minister, Michael Wills.

"Most data controllers do comply with the principles, but since misuse of even small amounts of personal data can have very serious consequences, it is vital that we do all that we can to prevent non-compliance. Penalties of up to £500,000 will act as a strong deterrent."

If the plan is given the thumbs up at the Palace of Westminster, the DPA fines will come into force on 6 April this year. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.