800 data breaches and counting... HAPPY DATA PRIVACY DAY!
Today marks the third annual international Data Privacy Day.
That's astonishingly boring isn't it? How do you celebrate it? Is it a dress down day? Would you even find out because the data required to tell you about it was kept private?
Anyway, this thing is an awareness raising initiative. Seeing as it's focused on data privacy and protection, new statistics from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) show that the rate of data security breaches isn't slowing at all.
The ICO have revealed in a statement that it has uncovered over 800 data security breaches since 2007, nearly 200 of which were the result of mistakes and 262 due to criminal theft.
The data watchdog has recently been awarded new powers... not the power of flight or anything interesting like that... rather, they are allowed to fine organisations up to £500,000 if they cock up.
The power has clearly gone to their heads as they're warning that they'll use these tougher sanctions if companies fail to report security breaches which subsequently come to light.
"In just over two months a further 100 organisations have reported data security breaches to us," said deputy Information Commissioner David Smith.
"We are keen to work with organisations to prevent breaches occurring in the first place, and to help put things right when things do go wrong. Talking to us may, of course, result in regulatory action. However, organisations must act responsibly."
He didn't add: "We'll come and fuck you a new arsehole. We can do it. We're allowed. We're hung like hoover bags as well."
This Data Privacy Day is even more joyous than usual because it's also the fourth annual European Data Protection Day. If I'd know in advance, I would have taken the day off work and got pissed.
European data protection supervisor Peter Hustinx, who is a monumentally exciting man, argues that: "The growing use of personal data affects us all, and the privacy consequences of this development are now becoming more visible. It is therefore essential that everyone's fundamental rights to privacy and data protection are effectively protected in practice."