back to article ICO says it doesn't need to use its 'big stick'

Despite increased powers to levy fines for breaches of UK data protection rules, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is only using these powers in a tiny fraction of cases. A Freedom of Information request from encryption specialist ViaSat, made public on Wednesday, revealed that 2,565 data breaches had been reported to …

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Boffin

So...

... if I happen to be a customer of one of the organisations fined, I get penalised for their incompetence, because you can bet that the board won't do the right thing and bear the penalty themselves (as they should as custodians of the company/body). I'm almost OK with that if it's not a monopoly (like a council or a water company) because I'm free to clear off to another. Where it's a monopoly though I have no realistic choice but to pay (you have to move to another council area to escape, or another region if it's water...) for the incompetence.

Surely the sensible thing to do is to institute criminal proceedings against the entity and upon conviction, jail the appropriate member of the board/executive - and pursue them for the costs of incarceration. I do not see why the consumer should pay for the negligence/criminality of a body of whom they're (often reluctantly) a customer.

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ha

You should come to america my friend. When the utilty monopolies grow they send you letters telling you how better it's going to be for you.

Yes; it's very good to only have monopolies to deal with that way when you are unhappy with service you have no recourse.

Private sector monopoly utilities are a tad better than the government ran ones but not by much.

Nothing like having no choice in companies and paying for propaganda to be sent to you.

Did I mention that areas of the states are using somewhat un-treated sewage because they can't afford to treat it all?

Guess it's good that corporate america and the banks get bailed out while we're putting sewage on the lawn.

Did I also mention with our utility monopolies we pay them a "competition tax". Since we have no choice I guess this tax for which goes by another name perhaps pays for lobbying to make sure they have no competition?

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Boffin

well....

It can swing both ways. I live in a community with municipal power, while the communities around me have power provided by private 'leccy companies (you can choose your 'leccy company, The delivery charge is the same for all). Our municipal power is cheaper.

I've not figured out why yet. I'm not being sarcastic, larger neighboring communities should have cheaper power, but in practice theory isn't working. There must be some effect here I don't know about.

Of course, don't get me started about how much I hate my natural-gas provider. Incompetent morons.

----

What are they using the sewage for? I thought in most regions that was a pretty serious offense.

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Anonymous Coward

ICO useless?

Well I'm shocked :P

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They just let the bastards off

Even when companies complained about refuse point-blank to co-operate with the ICO, they just let it drop anyway. As I found when I complained about Think Pink Cartridges' spamming activities - they carried on after getting a recorded delivery letter telling them to stop and wouldn't reply to any of the ICO's enquiries. The ICO's response: "yes they've been spamming you illegally and they wouldn't co-operate with us, but we're not going to do anything about it".

That's not a case of "not needing to use a big stick", it's a case of "never bothering to even use a small stick".

They seem to have the same function as the Advertising Standards "Authority" - to make it look like scum are being regulated without the inconvenience of any real regulation.

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Agreed with JasonW

I've been saying similar for quite some time. That and the fact the ICO are still as toothless and dithery as ever. Useless shower of bastards.

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Anonymous Coward

Bunch of wasters

ICO is also "responsible" for overseeing the Telephone Preference Service. Most months I still get 3 or 4 get an unsolicited sales calls despite having been registered with TPS for years. I stopped wasting my valuable time complaining after I raised a FoI enquiry to find out how many prosecutions there have been for making spam phone calls - none at all, ever. The potential fine is £5000 for each violating call.

In essence ICO subcontract policing TPS to marketing industry friendly people who, if they get enough complaints about a company, politely ask them to stop being naughty.

The commission employs over 300 people to sit around doing what appears to be f* all.

Like so much of the public sector they see their role a keeping seats warm rather than delivering any perceivable benefit. With this bunch, with potential "income generation" (from fines), if they don't deliver more than their annual running cost in fines sack the lot of them, we'll not notice any difference.

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