Consultant Handed £5,000 Fine Over Database Breach

A man behind an illicit database containing details of construction workers has been slapped with a fine of £5,000 for infringing the Data Protection Act at Knutsford Crown Court and required to pay a further £1,187.20 in costs.

Last week, Ian Kerr, the founder of The Consultancy Association (TCA) which illicitly held and sold confidential information of employees, has been found guilty of data breaches and eventually ordered to pay considerable fines.

Kerr was sentenced by the Court following an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which disclosed that he conducted a secret operation to vet construction workers for job in the industry.

David Smith, Deputy Information Commissioner, commented on the case by saying, “Ian Kerr colluded with construction firms for many years flouting the Data Protection Act and ignoring people's privacy rights. Trading people's personal details in this way is unlawful and we are determined to stamp out this type of activity.”

It was ascertained by the Court that the database created by TCA held information on as many as 3,213 construction workers and was utilised by around 40 construction companies.

The information watchdog is said to take enforcement action against 17 construction companies that paid Kerr for information on workers, in the wake of any representations made by the firms.

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Our Comments

We doubt that there isn't more of those around and the recession is not going to help either. The construction industry is certainly one of the most exposed but it is the ease with which Kerr managed to stay under the radar for so long that should have alerted the Information Commissioner's Office.

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