Employee prosecuted under Data Protection Act
Employee prosecuted under Data Protection Act for copying clients' personal data before leaving to join rival firm.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has called for more effective deterrent sentences, including the threat of prison, to be available to the courts to stop the unlawful use of personal information.
The call was issued after an employee was prosecuted by the ICO for making a copy of the personal data of over 100 of his employer’s clients before leaving to work for a rival firm. He intended to use the information to compete with his former employer. The prosecution was brought under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 which makes unlawfully obtaining or accessing personal data a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £5000 in the magistrates’ court.