Complaints regarding potential data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have more than doubled since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force back in May.

These stricter regulations are not to be taken lightly as businesses can face fines of up to £16.5m or 4% of their turnover which is a significant increase from the £500,000 fines prior to the GDPR coming into force.

The ICO has received 6,281 complaints between 25 May and 3 July which is a 160% increase compared with the previous year.

In recent weeks, a number of high profile companies have hit the headlines following data breaches including T-Mobile and Superdrug. Dixon Carphone has had a data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records according to reports.

It is thought that greater media attention has been the main reason for a rise in complaints as more members of the public are made aware of their rights regarding the use of their data under the GDPR. While this is certainly positive news for individuals, it is not so positive for businesses concerned about how they handle data.

Prevention is better than cure. There are a number of steps that can be taken by businesses as preventative measures to reduce the risks of data breaches occurring.

It is important to remember that not all data breaches need to be reported to the ICO. It is only necessary to report breaches that are likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of an individual to the ICO. It is also necessary to inform the individual affected where the breach is likely to result in a high risk to his or her rights and freedoms. In such circumstances, you must notify those concerned directly without undue delay.

GDPR is very much about being transparent in the way you handle individuals’ data.

If you require advice relating to the handling of data under GDPR or data breaches, Farleys have a team of GDPR specialists who can provide the necessary information tailored to your circumstances. To speak to one of the team please call 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.

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