Information Commissioner gets tough and starts handing out big fines
For far too long now, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been the brunt of wisecracks from smartarses like the ones who write this website, wisecracks about how they are a toothless organisation who are afraid to act whenever flagrant breaches of info-regulations occur.
Not any more – the worm has turned and has started upping its punishments. The ICO has issued its first ever fines for breaches of the Data Protection Act, two of them in fact, worth a total of £160,000. Who’s sneering now eh? Not us!
Hertfordshire County Council have been whacked with a fine for £100,000 after they faxed hyper-sensitive information about child abuse and care to the wrong recipient. Ooops!
Meanwhile, A4e, an employment services company have been stung with a £60,000 fine for letting an unencrypted laptop wriggle out of their possession. The laptop contained personal information about 24,000 people who had sought legal advice.
ICO head honcho Christopher Graham flexed his penal muscle and roared: “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. You could also be fined up to £500,000.”
You have been warned...