Data complaints rarely turn into prosecutions

Data protection complaints rarely make it to criminal prosecutions, a new report by Swiss data centre Artmotion says. The report, based on a freedom of information request towards the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), says that out of 14,000 data protection complaints made against the financial sector in the last five years, less than 0.1 per cent resulted in criminal prosecutions.

“In the financial sector data protection is of even higher significance than in other areas, and yet it seems that the UK government, and the EU for that matter, are unable to provide adequate protections or meaningful enforcement for breaches. Should individuals and businesses expect better? We say undoubtedly yes,” says Mateo Meier, CEO of Artmotion.

More than a quarter of these complaints were about data security, or unlawful disclosure. Just 0.48 per cent of data protection complaints resulted in any action taken by the ICO in the last five years.

The financial sector was the worst offender in the last fiscal year, according to ICO’s annual report. Lenders alone accounted for 12 per cent of all concerns raised last year.

“The fact is that countries outside the EU, such as Switzerland, have far stronger regulation when it comes to data protection and can offer more comprehensive security for highly sensitive financial information,” Meier added.

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