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Titan Atlas | Do We Need Stronger Sentences For Data Theft?

The recent case of a woman being fined just £1000 for the illegal selling of 28,000 customer records has led to renewed calls from the UK’s Information Commissioner (ICO) Christopher Graham for custodial sentences for data theft.

The Current Situation

As things stand now UK courts can issue unlimited fines but not custodial sentences.

This has long been a point of frustration for the Information Commission. In 2006 for example the then chief of the ICO, Richard Thomas said that low penalties only devalue data theft offences in the public mind and make them seem less serious.
The ICO’s campaign for more serious, custodial sentences go back even further to 2003 where a private investigator was found to have used deception to obtain the private details of individuals which he then sold to over 300 journalists (including the News of the World) but still escaped jail.

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