UK's information watchdog handed out record £42m in fines last year

UK’s information watchdog handed out record £42m in fines last year including penalties to British Airways and hotel chain Marriott

The UK’s information watchdog handed out a record £42m in fines last year including penalties to British Airways and hotel chain Marriott.

Fines were handed out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following huge data breaches that saw millions of people’s personal information compromised.

And last year’s figure was up from just £2.5m in 2019, according to research by law firm RPC.

Paying the penalty: Fines were handed out by the Information Commissioner's Office following huge data breaches that saw millions of people's personal information compromised

Paying the penalty: Fines were handed out by the Information Commissioner’s Office following huge data breaches that saw millions of people’s personal information compromised

It included a £20m fine handed to BA after it failed to protect the details of 430,000 customers.

The airline – which managed to get the original fine of £183m reduced – did not have proper security measures in place when it was hit by a cyber attack in 2018, with criminals stealing information including names, addresses and payment card numbers.

与此同时, Marriott was also fined £18.4m last year after the records of some 339m guests worldwide – including names, 电子邮件地址, phone numbers and passport numbers – was accessed by hackers. Those affected included 7m guests in the UK. The ICO had traced the cyber attack back to 2014.

The maximum fine the ICO can issue is £17.5m, 要么 4 per cent of a company’s total worldwide annual turnover, 以较高者为准.

Richard Breavington, a partner at RPC, said the decisions showed the ICO ‘will impose fines when it wants large organisations to sit up and take notice’.

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