By Martin Abrahams-Oracle on Jan 13, 2010
The BBC reports that the British Secretary of State for Justice has approved a new rule to empower the Information Commissioner's Office to impose fines up to £500,000 for data breaches.
Fines will be in proportion to the severity of the breach and the resources of the erring organization.
In a press release, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, said: "Getting data protection right has never been more important than it is today. As citizens, we are increasingly asked to complete transactions online, with the state, banks and other organisations using huge databases to store our personal details. When things go wrong, a security breach can cause real harm and great distress to thousands of people. These penalties are designed to act as a deterrent and to promote compliance with the Data Protection Act. I remain committed to working with voluntary, public and private bodies to help them stick to the rules and comply with the Act. But I will not hesitate to use these tough new sanctions for the most serious cases where organisations disregard the law."