Firms Face Fines for Losing Data

Small businesses could be fined up to half a million pounds if they lose confidential customer or employee information, under new penalties introduced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The new maximum penalty for businesses guilty of a serious data breach is 100 times greater than the one it replaces. Previously, the ICO had the power to fine just £5,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act (DPA).  Announcing the increased fines, the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said: “I will not hesitate to use these tough new sanctions for the most serious cases where organisations disregard the law.” A serious breach of the DPA has been defined by the ICO as one that was “likely to cause damage or distress” and was &ldquo... »

SMEs in the Dark about Fines for Data Negligence

The majority of the UK’s SMEs are unaware they could face fines of up to £500,000 if they breach data protection laws. A poll of 154 small and medium-sized businesses by Eclipse Internet found that almost two-thirds (62%) didn’t know companies could face such a large fine if they breach the Data Protection Act. Whilst most of the companies polled had heard of the Act, few firms knew about the proposed new powers to be awarded to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Of those surveyed, only 22% said they had heard of the changes, which are due to come into force in April 2010. They will give the Information Commissioner’s Office ability to penalise companies that breach the Data Protection Act by putting personal data at risk. Clodagh Murphy, director at Eclip... »