UK citizens' private information being lost at record rate
By Simon Thorpe on Feb 11, 2009
Tis not a good time to be a UK citizen right now, "your personal information of UK citizens is being lost and stolen at an unprecedented rate", the UK’s privacy watchdog said today. However, if you happen to be one of the private companies that have lost this data you are currently safe in the knowledge that you're not going to be investigated.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has been reported saying that "Data breaches jumped by 36 per cent last year, the ICO said. Personal information is now lost - on average - more than once a day."
This is just shocking news, but worse is that the ICO is unable to investigate any breaches if they are within the realm of the private sector. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner himself states, "For more than 20 years, my office has not had the power to carry out any inspection without the consent of the organisation concerned, In the six and a half years that I have been commissioner, I have strenuously argued that that is not acceptable. One would not expect a food inspector to have to get the restaurant’s consent before carrying out an inspection.”
The government is making changes but this only applies to central and local government departments, private companies will still be exempt from investigation. Surely this must change, how can the ICO ask companies to sign its Personal Information Promise and not be given the power to investigate those who break this trust? Crazy...