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ICO To Start Handing Financial Penalties To Firms

The Information Commissioner's Office may start using its powers to dole out fines of up to £500,000 towards the end of the month according to Christopher Graham.

The Information Commissioner was speaking at an Information Security Event organised by Kable on the 3rd of November and said that had the HM Revenue and Customs lost the details of 25 million people now, the ICO would have applied the maximum penalty of £500,000.

Which is of course slightly ironic because the HMRC is a public sector organisation and fining it means an additional financial penalty for the tax payer.

Graham described the incident which occurred in 2007 as the "horror benchmark", one which we believe marked a watershed moment in data handling in the country.

Since the 6th April this year, the ICO has the ability to issue fines but has yet to exercise it. The Information Commissioner also defended the ICO's decision to let Google off with what many saw as a slap on the wrist.

Graham said that the watchdog may now audit Google as it made hat he calls "bankable undertakings".