Feeds

Ireland publishes proposed data breach notification rules

More than 100 spills and you've got to mop up

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Irish organisations which lose the personal data of more than 100 people will have to report the data security breach to the authorities, according to new rules proposed by that country's privacy regulator.

The proposal will force the declaration of data losses to Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner in all cases in which more than 100 people's data have been compromised, according to a draft Code of Practice published by the Commissioner.

Organisations can avoid reporting an incident if data is encrypted and protected by a strong password, or if there was a strong password and a remote memory-wipe feature on a lost device and that feature was activated immediately.

Data protection officials are split on whether data security breach notifications should be introduced. Many US states have them on their statute books but the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has never fully supported them, arguing that they can mask the seriousness of some incidents by making lesser incidents seem common and without serious consequences.

The Irish Government ordered a review in 2008 to determine whether or not reporting obligations there protected individuals sufficiently. It recommended that some sort of official guidance about when incidents must be reported should be created.

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has now published a draft Code of Practice outlining exactly when reports to him must be made.

"I have sought to bring forward a draft Code as quickly as possible after the Review Group report to respond to public concern in relation to organisations losing personal data under their control while at the same time not imposing an undue burden on those organisations," said Irish Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes.

Even when an organisation loses the data of fewer than 100 people they must report an incident if that information includes sensitive personal data or financial information which could be used to impersonate them.

"Data controllers who are required to report to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with this Code must do so within two working days of becoming aware of the incident," said the guidance.

"Such data controllers are required to provide a detailed report of the incident reflecting careful consideration of … the amount and nature of the personal data that has been compromised; what action is being taken to secure and / or recover the personal data that has been compromised; what actions are being taken to inform those affected by the incident or reasons for the decision not to do so; what actions (if any) are being taken to limit damage or distress to those affected by the incident; and a chronology of the events leading up to the disclosure," it said.

Organisations will have to provide a second report to the authorities outlining the steps it is taking to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again, the draft Code said.

"The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner will investigate the issues surrounding the data breach," it said. "Investigations may include on-site examination of systems and procedures and could lead to the use of the Commissioner’s legal powers to compel certain actions. Such actions may include a recommendation or requirement to inform data subjects about a security breach incident where a data controller has not already done so."

The European Union approved a data breach notification law last year as part of telecoms law reforms, but the law only applies to telecoms firms. The Commission and Council rejected EU Parliament proposals to have the law apply to businesses that operate online, such as shops and banks.

See: The draft Code of Practice

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.