Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has recently repeated his calls for stronger sentencing powers for people convicted of stealing personal data. Mr Graham’s comments were made in the wake of a recent enforcement action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) against a former employee of the rental car company Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The former employee pleaded guilty to an offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act for unlawfully obtaining, disclosing, and selling personal information that could be used by accident claims companies to make nuisance calls. The former employee sold almost 28,000 customers’ records for £5,000. The court ordered that she pay a £1,000 fine, a £100 victim surcharge, and £864.40 prosecution costs. The purchaser of such records, who was also prosecuted recently, pleaded guilty to the same offence and was ordered to pay the same fine and other charges as well as to destroy any data that it still held.

TIP: Mr Graham’s comments show that the ICO continues to take seriously misuse of consumer information.