Feeds

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

Ministry of Justice awaits Parliamentary approval

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.