As of 6 April 2010, the value of monetary penalties which the Information Commissioner’s Offi ce may impose under section 55A of the Data Protection Act 1998 for breach of the data protection principles has been raised from £5k to £500k. The Information Commissioner’s Offi ce has issued guidance on how it will assess the amount of penalty to levy. Issues such as the seriousness, duration, number of individuals affected, and whether the contravention was deliberate or negligent are among the factors which the Information Commissioner’s Offi ce will consider.

The Information Commissioner’s Offi ce’s Guidance can be obtained from its website, http://www.ico.gov.uk.