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Members of Parliament Join Clamor for Criminalizing Data Breaches

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According to a report posted to Bloomberg.com on January 2nd, the fallout from UK’s largest data breach continues.  Now, Members of the Parliament's Justice Committee are pushing for new criminal penalties for security breaches in the wake of a government breach that jeopardized the records of nearly half of the UK population.  This supports the position of the country’s Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, whose office would likely be the recipient of any new enforcement responsibilities. 

The event has gone so far as to lower the approval rating of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to less than 40%.  According to Brown and his Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, whose Treasury oversees the tax service, the security procedures were breached when the data was lost while in transit by courier to the National Audit Office.  

In 2007, the office of the Information Commissioner sanctioned many of the United Kingdom’s top financial institutions for improperly discarding personal information.  In comments by the UK’s Assistant Information Commissioner, David Smith, at last year’s NAID-Europe Conference in Paris, it is apparent that their office is extremely concerned about all areas of personal information protection, including disposal. 

While NAID supports such an aggressive approach to information protection responsibilities, it is quick to remind members that they will be subject to the same laws. 

Click here to read the entire report.