ICO may go easy on data breach penalties

ICO may go easy on data breach penalties

The Information Commissioner’s Office, or ICO, is seeking to improve data protection with practical solutions as a result of minimal resources, continually improving technology and the pending  EU Data General Protection Regulation.

The new approach may see greater verbal or written discipline, but fewer fines being issued.

Christopher Graham, information commissioner, spoke in Manchester at the recent European Conference of Data Protection Authorities. Graham offered a lengthy talk on the challenges that the ICO is facing, with a focus on a need to adhere to new laws, and ensure that all users are given privacy while changes in technology are underway.

Graham said that changes in digital technology have consequences for a number of aspects of daily life – for individuals, consumers and citizens. He pointed out that it plays a part in how we transact, consume and communicate, and further said that we are even sometimes tracked.

Graham added:

“Governments too have gone digital, keen to find efficiencies in the delivery of joined up public services. And now there’s the security dimension, with politicians claiming that public safety is an absolute right, while privacy is a right that may need to be qualified.”

Data breaches have certainly come to the attention of both businesses and consumers in the last couple of years. When a giant such as eBay loses custom as a result of a breach, it is clear that consumers are becoming more aware of the effects of stolen data. Businesses need to respond by creating more cyber security jobs in order to make their systems more secure.

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