ICO fines: A timeline

We take a look back at what the ICO has been up to since it gained extra fining powers, which were used today for the first time.

Today the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued its first fines since it was handed additional powers, with two organisations paying out a total of 160,000.

For some, the wait was been too long. Others believed it had been a good day for information commissioner Christopher Graham, as he showed the ICO had real teeth.

So where did the story of the ICO fines begin and how did we get to where we are now? We take a look at the brief history of the data protection watchdog and it's penalty powers.

January 2010

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A new year called for change and the ICO started off by announcing proposals for additional powers. The body said it wanted to be able to hand out 500,000 penalties for the most serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

April 2010

These powers were granted and came into force on 6 April.

The ICO explained the most serious fines would occur in cases where the data controller responsible "seriously contravened the data protection principles and the contravention was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress."

June 2010

Lampeter Medical Practice was found in breach of the Data Protection Act when an unencrypted USB stick containing 8,000 patient details went missing but no fine was handed out.

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June 2010

The ICO rapped two NHS bodies, which had experienced serious data breaches.

At the time the ICO said one in four of all Data Protection Act breaches in the UK were committed by the NHS, yet no Trust had been told to pay out.

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