Barclays and NatWest breach data protection rules
by Gill Montia
Story link: Barclays and NatWest breach data protection rules
The Information Commissioner’s Office (IC0), the independent public body set up to promote access to official information and protect personal information, has issued a report naming a number of High Street banks found to be in breach of data protection rules.
Barclays and NatWest are among those listed, along with retailers, Government departments, public bodies and other organisations.
Over the 12 months prior to the publication of the report, the ICO found 12 high street banks guilty of discarding customers’ personal details in unsecured bins outside their premises.
The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has expressed disbelief at some of the breaches, which meant that loan rejections, health insurance applications, credit card and bank statements were placed in non-confidential waste bags and left on the street.
He has sent a strong message to those at the top of organisations to exercise greater respect for the privacy of individuals and the integrity of personal information held by a business.
According to the ICO’s report, the majority of data protection cases referred to the Commission required only advice and guidance.
Breaches accounted for 35% of cases reviews during 2006/07, of which 77% resulted in remedial action.
The largest number of complaints in any one sector involved Internet businesses, followed closely by lenders, direct marketing companies and the telecommunications sector.
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