IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Does the ICO have enough power to stop data breaches?

With two breaches of the Data Protection Act being reported this week, we ask some experts whether the ICO is doing enough to help prevent data losses in the UK?

ANALYSIS Last week was a big one for data breaches in the UK, as Zurich was hit with a 2.27 million fine for losing customer information.

It was the biggest fine ever handed out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for a data security failing.

Later in the week, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found both Yorkshire Building Society and DSG Retail, the owner of PC World, in breach of the Data Protection Act.

In the case of DSG Retail, eight customer credit agreements containing personal and financial data were found in a skip outside a PC World store. Yorkshire Building Society had an unencrypted laptop containing customer information stolen.

In both cases no fine was handed out, even though the ICO now has the ability to hand out a 500,000 penalty for "serious" breaches of the Act.

When the new powers were announced, the ICO said the information Commissioner will adopt "a pragmatic and proportionate approach to issuing an organisation with a monetary penalty."

It added: "Factors will be taken into account including an organisation's financial resources, sector, size and the severity of the data breach, to ensure that undue financial hardship is not imposed on an organisation."

We asked a range of experts working in the data protection sphere whether they believe the ICO is right in its proportionate strategy or if it is time the regulatory body started wielding its stick some more.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

The public sector will no longer face eye-watering data breach fines, ICO confirms
public sector

The public sector will no longer face eye-watering data breach fines, ICO confirms

1 Jul 2022
MoJ faces £17.5m GDPR fine over subject access request backlog
data protection

MoJ faces £17.5m GDPR fine over subject access request backlog

20 Jan 2022
The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software

31 Dec 2021
Cabinet Office fined £500,000 for New Year Honours data leak
data breaches

Cabinet Office fined £500,000 for New Year Honours data leak

3 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022