Further to our recent e-update "Consulting Association Founder Faces Substantial Fines for Data Breaches" Ian Kerr, the founder of the Consulting Association which illegally stored and sold employees confidential data, has been fined £5,000 for data protection breaches at Knutsford Crown Court and must pay a further £1,187.20 in costs.

David Smith, Deputy Information Commissioner, said: “Ian Kerr colluded with construction firms for many years flouting the Data Protection Act and ignoring people’s privacy rights. Trading people’s personal details in this way is unlawful and we are determined to stamp out this type of activity. Kerr’s covert operation denied people their information rights under the Data Protection Act."

It was confirmed at the Crown Court that the database compiled by the Consulting Association stored information on 3,213 workers and was used by 40 construction firms.

Following its investigations, the Information Commissioner has written to a number of the construction companies which utilised the database with preliminary Enforcement Notices. The construction companies will apparently have the opportunity to respond, following which, the Information Commissioner may take further enforcement action.

An ICO representative has confirmed that they would continue to investigate the companies which subscribed to the database to establish whether they had breached data protection law. The ICO representative commented: "We are looking to see if the requirements of the Data Protection Act have been complied with. We will take action in due course."