The Information Commissioner’s Office are the independent authority on data protection, confidentiality and privacy. They have the ability to fine organisations, issue decision notices or in some circumstances, prosecute individuals. They have powers under a range of legislation, with the main ones being the Data Protection Act 2018, GDPR and Computer Misuse Act 1990.
Since GDPR came into force the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have issued penalties for a variety of breaches including cyber attacks, failing to keep records secure and electronic marketing violations. The GDPR brought significantly increased fines and in particular the announcement that they intend to fine British Airways (£183m) and Marriott (£99m) shows that it is critical to get compliance right.
There have also been a number of prosecutions for individuals who have deliberately breached the law. While this is enforcement against the offender, there is always reputational damage to consider. You can see the published enforcement action that the ICO have taken here.
At STABE we have qualified GDPR and legal professionals who can provide expert assurance to your organisation so that you can put measures in place to avoid enforcement action and financial penalties from the ICO. Our support will help you and your staff from breaching the rights of your clients or misusing their data.
When something does go wrong, you need to ensure that the reporting process is followed correctly and having a team who are experienced with liaising with the ICO and investigating incidents is hugely beneficial.
If you are in need of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) or simply need on-going support for your existing structure, then STABE could be the solution. We can provide experienced DPOs as an outsourced service. The number of hours that we provide per month is negotiable with additional hours charged as necessary. This could be the best solution for your organisation if you have a governance structure but not the expertise to lead the implementation or negotiate the more complex issues that you could face.