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ICO unveils corporate plan with more enforcement on the cards

The Information Commissioner’s Office has unveiled its three year Corporate Plan  which shows a determination to use the new penalties it has been given. The plan states “We shall make early and effective use of our new data protection powers to undertake audits, and to impose civil monetary penalties on data controllers who seriously get it wrong. We have set up a new Good Practice department which will adopt a risk based approach to conducting audits. It will be led and staffed by trained auditors.”

The tougher stance may have come just in time as the European Commission has formally told the UK Government to strengthen the ICO powers or risk non-compliance with the Data Protection Directive. The UK has two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to ensure full compliance.

Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship is urging the UK to change its rules and get tough on those who breach the rules. All of this could mean a tougher framework for marketing data use.

Reding is keen to let the “Hound of Wilmslow” out of its cage. “Having a watchdog with insufficient powers is like keeping your guard dog tied up in the basement" she said.

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