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News

Clampdown expected on DPA breaches

IT Governance : 23 December, 2009  (Technical Article)
IT Governance provides advice on compliance with the UK Data Protection Act with expected increases in the number of prosecutions being brought from the Information Commissioner's Office
Alan Calder, Chief Executive of IT Governance, is warning organisations across the UK to prepare for a major new assault on breaches of data protection.

Companies need to act now to meet the increasingly strict requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA) compliance regime or risk the wrath of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Calder explains: "The planned new penalties are of unprecedented severity. From April 2010, the ICO expects to impose 25 monetary penalty notices every year for breaches of the DPA. Those fines could be as much as £500,000 each for serious contraventions. Any company, or organisation, failing to take reasonable measures to comply will be in the firing line. There could even be prison sentences for deliberate, or negligent, customer data leaks by individuals within an organisation.

"At an absolute minimum, organisations should carry out a DPA compliance audit, to establish what work is necessary and the associated lines of responsibility, as well as executing a risk assessment around the storage and processing of personal data.

"The data protection regulatory environment is about to become far more hostile and intimidating, but the good news is that the tools exist to help companies achieve compliance quickly and easily. We are now launching the IT Governance Complete Data Protection Toolkit, which combines the DPA Compliance Assessment Tool, the DPA Compliance Documentation Toolkit, the Data Protection Compliance in the UK pocket guide and the How to Survive a Data Breach pocket guide.

"Furthermore, we still offer products such as the Data Protection Pocket Guide and the DPA Compliance Toolkit."

Complementing these products, IT Governance offers a DPA consultancy service to provide a rapid and clear analysis of a company's compliance status. The consultants can then help to create and implement a remedial plan, and propose the necessary steps to ensure a company remains compliant.

Calder adds: "All UK organisations that hold or process personal data must comply with the DPA. If you're not really sure if your business is compliant, there is every chance you are far short of the legal requirements."
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