With the IC’s enforcement staff due to be doubled in 12 months and a more proactive stance promised against data privacy abusers, will it make any difference?
Topic: Data protection
Who: The Office of the Information Commission ("OIC")
When: September 2002
In one of her last speeches before stepping down, Information Commissioner Elizabeth France announced at a privacy and data protection conference that the OIC would in future be taking a much more aggressive stance on enforcement of the 1998 Data Protection Act. Ms France promised that the number of OIC enforcement staff would be doubled over the next year and that more backbone would be put into the OIC's policing activity by establishing an Enforcement Board and an Enforcement Team. Their brief will be to take a more pro-active position on compliance issues, as set out in an official paper entitled "The Commissioner's Enforcement Strategy". The paper accepts that the strategy adopted up until now of relying principally on the receipt of complaints before taking enforcement action has not resulted in significant levels of policing activity. Breaches of the law come to the attention of the OIC in a number of other ways, including reports in the press and questions and queries raised with the Office by members of the public. The plan is to follow up much more on these information sources.
The first area on which this new pro-active stance will focus is commercial websites.
Why this matters: