GDPR stokes jump in data pro­tec­tion whistle­blow­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael Cog­ley

THE num­ber of whistle­blow­ers re­port­ing po­ten­tial breaches to Bri­tain’s data pro­tec­tion watch­dog rose by a third last year, fig­ures show.

A to­tal of 427 re­ports were made to the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice in the 12 months to the end of March, ac­cord­ing to City law firm RPC.

The ICO took “fur­ther ac­tion” on 68 of the re­ports, with a fur­ther 23 con­sid­ered for in­ves­ti­ga­tion, down from 55 in 2018. Re­ports to the watch­dog have surged since the in­tro­duc­tion of the GDPR leg­is­la­tion two years ago. Be­fore that, 140 re­ports had been made.

Un­der the leg­is­la­tion, com­pa­nies are obliged to in­form the ICO within 48 hours of dis­cov­er­ing a cy­ber at­tack that af­fects per­sonal data.

Busi­nesses can now be fined up to 4pc of their an­nual turnover.

RPC said that an in­crease in on­line fraud and other forms of data theft had forced peo­ple to re­port busi­nesses for not tak­ing proper pre­cau­tions.

Part­ner Richard Breav­ing­ton said whistle­blow­ing was a “ma­jor risk” for firms fail­ing to deal with data prop­erly.

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