£20 million fine for companies who lose your data

21 June 2016
£20m fine for data loss

There's been a lot of cyber attacks on companies lately, which have resulted in huge leaks of your personal data. What's being done about it?

Well, we can only take the word of the companies that have been hit by these, but it looks like there's going to be stern penalties issued, in a bid to make them take it seriously.

MPs have written a report, and have called on watchdogs to be able to issue fines of up to £20 million if they lose their customers' personal data in hacks, say the culture, media and sport select committee.

If they're not going to understand the severity of what's going on, maybe they'll get on board if it is going to affect their pockets?

The report says that business bosses should also be penalised for data breaches, with their own pay and bonuses being linked to online security.

As for the criminals that actually do the hacks, selling people's private information, should be jailed for up to two years.

With regards to one of the more notorious hacks - the one that saw millions of people's private information being leaked at TalkTalk - the company said the whole thing has cost them somewhere in the region of £35 million in lost custom.

However, it is difficult to feel bad for them, as they have been hammered for having a feeble system, and were very slow to inform customers and the Information Commissioner's Office about the incident.

Some research has suggested that 90% of big companies have suffered a security breach, so it is clearly a very pertinent problem.

The report wants to see the Information Commissioner's Office given stronger powers to be able to sort this whole thing out.

Jesse Norman, chair of the committee, said: 'This is a giant wake-up call for the industry because the TalkTalk hack showed that even very sophisticated companies in the telecoms area were not invulnerable."

"Failure to prepare for cyber-attacks and failure to inform and protect consumers must draw sanctions serious enough to act as a real incentive and deterrent."

At the moment, the maximum fine the ICO can issue is £500,000, which is pocket change for big businesses.

TOPICS:   Privacy   Technology

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