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Fines for losing data come into force

Simon Quicke


The threat of £50,000 fines for losing data becomes a reality today as the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) gets the powers to go after those businesses that are careless with customer and staff records.

But the expectation is that to show it means business the ICO is going to target some high profile companies.

KPMG is warning that the chances are that the next few weeks could be a period of heigthened activity with the ICO casting an eye over firms data management.

"Today marks a milestone in UK privacy regulation. It comes as a result of the regulator lobbying hard for more power in the light of a series of high profile breaches in the past two years," said Malcom Marshall, KPMG's UK head of information protection services.

"Looking ahead, organisations should expect more regulation on privacy across Europe and the globe as governments and regulators seek to respond to popular concerns about personal data safety," he added.

KPMG has come up with some suggestions of areas where firms need to keep an eye om data including rolling out desktop encryption, extending security with third-party suppliers and crucially not to underestimate the regulator.

Jason Ellis, channel vice president at Symantec, said that the ICO would be tough but that presented an opportunity for the channel.

"By educating businesses about IT security best practice, the channel can ensure businesses avoid the burden of some potentially devastating fines," he said.

Over the past two years there have been numerous high profile cases of data loss from government, large businesses and the public sector that have highlighted the need for some form of penalty against those that are careless looking after information.


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