Data double whammy after EU data law

18th Feb 2016

Customer data users could face a double whammy on top of the finally agreed EU data law.

A parliamentary Select Committee has announced it wants the Government to introduce much stricter data laws that go beyond the recently announced EU law - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

At the same time the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is introducing a policy of actively seeking out data offenders rather than investigating complaints, and is reviewing its guidelines with a view to introducing tougher regulation.

The Science and Technology Select Committee of MPs has been investigating the data economy and considering the opportunities and risks, specifically how government can support businesses and encourage growth, but also protect consumer interests.

In its fourth report, which has just been announced, the committee wants the UK Government to go further than the forthcoming EU data, which will itself dramatically increase the ability of the ICO to impose larger fines for data breaches.

The committee believe that current sanctions have not been an effective deterrence to rogue marketers, and a key element of its recommendation is introducing criminal sanctions with the aim of focusing the minds of business leaders to ensure data protection policy is treated with much greater importance.

This comes when the ICO is reviewing its guidelines with a viewing to toughening up the way in which it policies data law, plus it will double in size this year, and may move into bigger premises.

Additionally, it now has a policy of going out and investigating larger data users rather than being primarily reactive. So far this year it has written to more than a thousand companies asking them to complete detailed reports on data practice, which will be followed up to ensure compliance is being adhered to. 

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