Information Commissioner’s Office went extreme today in a press release which stated that a disturbing case highlights need for prison to be an option in cases of data protection violations.
The call for action comes as a bank cashier yesterday pleaded guilty to using her position to access illegally the personal details of a sex attack victim, according to the press release. The cashier’s husband had been convicted of carrying out the attack and was serving time in jail. Sarah Langridge – a former employee of Barclays Bank – claimed she accessed the victim’s accounts and banking records to try to build a picture of the woman who had accused her husband. Mrs Langridge was fined £800, made to pay £400 costs and a £15 victims’ surcharge in a hearing at Brighton Magistrates Court.
Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
“It beggars belief that – in an age where our personal information is being stored and accessed by more organisations than ever – the penalties for seriously abusing the system still do not include the possibility of a prison sentence, even in the most serious cases. Access to online records is now part and parcel of almost every transaction the citizen makes – with government agencies, local government, the NHS, DVLA, high street banks, insurers, social networks. This only makes the risks to privacy greater and the need for security greater still”.
Read all about it HERE and feel free to comment on this extreme view.