back to article Facebook political data probe: £2.5m. Powers for the ICO: Priceless

The millions spent on investigating the Facebook data harvesting scandal was worth it because it allowed the Information Commissioner's Office to secure greater powers, Elizabeth Denham has said. Denham, who has been information commissioner since 2016, said that without that case the ICO would not have been granted …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Denham has often said that handing out an order to stop data processing would have a greater impact on a firm than a cash payout."

    That option has been there since DPA v1.0. Has it ever been used?

    AFAICR it looked to me back then (?the 80's!!) that, apart from anything else, it was a trip-wire in that the ICO might not be able to prosecute a criminal offence but it was in their power to impose such a ban and that breaking it did constitute a criminal offence. Of course I may have misunderstood it but it seemed like a crafty bit of legislation.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Facebook is appealing the £500,000 fine the ICO handed down."

    We can but hope that the appeal gets turned down and the court decides the fine wasn't big enough and doubles it.

    1. M.V. Lipvig
      Holmes

      I wonder how long it would take Farcebook to pay if they ordered all data processing to stop until the fine was paid? Guesses in milliseconds, please.

  3. Dan Wilkie

    My brief experience of dealing with FoI requests involved helping with roughly a dozen that were IT related. And by IT related, after a quick bit of googling turned out to be from sales people at software companies hence the questions about "What suppliers do you use for x", "What is your average spend on y", "How many printers of model z do you have" - pages and pages of it.

    Followed by polite reminders that it had to be processed within a certain window. Call me old fashioned, but I don't think that the law was intended to make salesdroids life easier and avoid them having to do work, I'm surprised that there didn't seem to be any kind of penalty for making pointless frivilous FOI requests that took ages to find information so they could then try and talk their way into selling me a bunch of 20 year old printers that are "proven technology mate".

    Funnily enough, certainly whilst I was there all those vendors went on my blacklist.

    Of course now I'm in presales, at least I know that kind of tactic is a bad idea I guess!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I'm surprised that there didn't seem to be any kind of penalty for making pointless frivilous FOI requests that took ages to find information so they could then try and talk their way into selling me a bunch of 20 year old printers that are "proven technology mate".

      If it had been me there'd have been a penalty other then being blacklisted.

      They'd have been greeted with their pile of requests. "You have half an hour of my time. This request took me x minutes. This took my y minutes.... You've already had your half hour before you arrived. Goodbye."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'd welcome them with open arms. Ask them for reliability data then follow up with an FOI request to check their claims.

        What are your reliability statistics, downtime costs, response times, return customer rates, complaints etc. etc. Then ask them how they validate and verify their data.

        That should keep them occupied for a while.

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