According to a report by Big Brother Watch local authorities commit an average of four data breaches every day. This includes personal information being lost, stolen or used inappropriately including sensitive and personal information about children.
The report by Big Brother Watch found that between April 2011 and April 2014 there were at least 4,236 data breaches which was also showing an upward trend based on previous years.
Big Brother Watch actively campaign for tougher penalties for the most serious data breaches, including custodial sentences. Big Brother Watch to date have referred to section 55 of the Data Protection Act when calling for tougher penalties but this is soon to be replaced by Article 79 of the Reformed EU Data Protection Laws. Administrative sanctions stipulate that the supervisory authority can impose at least one of the following sanctions:
a) a warning in writing in the case of first and/or non-intentional non-compliance
b) regular periodic data protection audits
c) a fine up to EUR 100,000,000 or up to 5% of the annual worldwide turnover in case of an enterprise, whichever is higher.
Imposing tougher penalties for the most serious of data breaches has received widespread support from a variety of organisations and individuals, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Justice Select Committee and the Home Affairs Select Committee.
The top and bottom of it is all organisations, including local authorities and schools must ensure that they implement appropriate security measures to protect personal data.
If you are concerned about data security in your organisation get in touch with us to discuss how we might help.