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ICO reports 30% rise in data protection complaints

The ICO reported on 14th July that it had seen a 30% increase in data protection complaints year on year between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010.  In a statement released by Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, it was reported that the ICO had made some significant internal changes in order to deal with the level of complaints.  Graham also repeated his call for jail terms as punishments for some breaches of the data protection legislation.  “I continue to believe that the courts should be able to impose a custodial sentence, where appropriate, to tackle the unlawful trade in personal data that is the scourge of the digital world,” he said.

In June this year, the European Commission gave the UK two months to strengthen the powers of the ICO.  It is widely anticipated that the ICO will have the power to do spot checks on UK businesses within the next 18 months with the ability to impose and enforce penalties resulting from the checks.  The maximum fine or breaches of data protection laws was increased to £500,000 earlier this year.

Comment

This whole area is moving in one direction and at some pace.  The ICO will have the power to spot check many businesses from next year and has indicated that this the thin end of a wedge.  It is vitally important that UK businesses, large and small, see the writing on the wall and take action NOW!  Absolute Data can help you prepare for what is undoubtedly coming by assessing and then reducing the risks of data protection breaches.  Call us now for an free no obligation initial consultation.