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Breaches of data protection must be tackled

11 July, 2007



Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said more must be done to tackle the issue of Firms breaching data protection after a new report found a number of companies, government departments and other public bodies have breached data protection rules in the past year.

Mr McCartney said

"Identity fraud is on the rise on a daily basis, criminals are always looking at new ways of stealing people's identity, their financial details and company records .Its alarming that Information Commissioner Richard Thomas found many of our financial institutions and large retailers are not taking the protection of personal data of both customers and staff seriously

"The Commissioners office received nearly 24,000 enquiries and complaints about personal information issues in 2006-07. The report found that 56.5% of these required only advice and guidance, while a breach was likely to have happened in 35% of cases, of which a further 77% resulted in remedial action.

"The report also found that banks, retailers, government departments, public bodies and other organisations admitted serious security lapses. That cannot be allowed to continue. Identity fraud can have a devastation impact on an individual or business and its clear from this report that many companies and government bodies need to get their act together and tighten up on procedures on processing people financial and private details"

Ends

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