» Information Commissioner’s Office takes action on data loss

Small business fined £5,000 for loss of customer data and two individuals prosecuted for illegally accessing other people’s personal information. Could this happen to you? Read more..

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned small businesses that they must make sure they have adequate measures in place to keep customers’ details secure, after a sole trader was fined £5,000. As well of breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998, many small businesses are not even aware that they should be registered and failure to do so is also an offence.

There are a number of tools available to the Information Commissioner’s Office for taking action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information.

They include criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The Information Commissioner also has the power to serve a monetary penalty notice of up to £500,000 on an organisation/data controller, and these enforcements are now happening on a regular basis.

The during the period covering the first 3 quarters of 2013 there were a total of 1,152 ICO reported  breaches of the Act, with a notable 25% increase in Q3 over Q1.