ICO deals out £160,000 in data breach fines

The ICO has used its fining powers for the first time, reprimanding a local council and an employment services firm.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has dealt out its first fines since it was handed additional powers in April.

The data protection watchdog has been under increasing scrutiny in recent months, with some suggesting it had not gone far enough to impose its authority, particularly in the Google Street View case.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Today the ICO announced a 100,000 penalty was handed to Hertfordshire County Council, whilst employment services company A4e was hit with a 60,000 fine.

According to the watchdog, the council was reprimanded for two serious incidents when employees faxed highly sensitive personal information to the wrong recipients.

In one case, details relating to child sex abuse meant to go to barristers' chambers were sent to a member of the public. The other misdirected fax covered details of care proceedings.

"It is difficult to imagine information more sensitive than that relating to a child sex abuse case," said information commissioner Christopher Graham.

"I am concerned at this breach - not least because the local authority allowed it to happen twice within two weeks."

A4e had an unencrypted laptop stolen, which contained personal data on 24,000 people who had used community legal advice centres in Hull and Leicester.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to access the data on the laptop after it was stolen

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"The laptop theft, while less shocking, also warranted nothing less than a monetary penalty as thousands of people's privacy was potentially compromised by the company's failure to take the simple step of encrypting the data," Graham added. "These first monetary penalties send a strong message to all organisations handling personal information. Get it wrong and you do substantial harm to individuals and the reputation of your business."

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020