Are you breaching your ongoing duty of care under the Data Protection Act?

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£325,000 – the largest Civil Monetary Penalty issued to date by the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) for breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA). It remains to be seen whether the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will also be fined in respect of the text messages it sent to individuals and which are allegedly in breach of the DPA. The UKBA is not alone; a 2012 case shows just how easy it can be to fall short of the obligations imposed by the DPA.

In Smeaton v Equifax at the High Court, it was found that Equifax — one of the UK’s three leading principal credit rating agencies — had breached its duty of care owed to Keith Smeaton under the Data Protection Act (DPA). The case serves as a reminder of how easy it can be to fall short of obligations imposed by the DPA and why it is crucial to keep on top of record-keeping to avoid a sizeable compensation claim…

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