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Europe Looks To The Cost Of Data Breaches

Posted on January 11, 2015 at 3:50 PM

You know how it is - around Christmas and New Year it is easy to miss the most important stories. Business is also adept at burying bad news while the general public stresses about the availability of mince pies....and other distractions.

So I draw your attention to this story in the Financial Times just before the New Year ; 'Big Data Needs Big Guidance.'  In case you don't have access to FT.com, this is how it begins: 

"Boardrooms the world over are excited by big data, but the collection of masses of information could lead to a legal mess for companies in the EU that suffer a serious data breach. And now there has come a warning that all companies need guidance about what all the data they collect can be used for.

Europe's advisory body on data protection and privacy, the Article 29 Working Party, has said there are legal and ethical questions about how big data fits within the law." (my emphasis)

Ah - so it seems that 'big data' runs counter to the principle of existing law in Europe, which says personal information can only be processed if the subject has given permission.....and other qualifications.

Another bit of the FT story that is essential to anyone involved in law, corporate governance and the boardroom:

It points out that at the moment only telecoms companies and internet service providers have to notify the national regulator - which in the UK is the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of any data breach - and the maximum fine the ICO can levy is £500,000.

But new EU regulation, expected to come into force in 2017, says; "Companies will have to disclose every data breach, whether it is major or minor, to the regulator within 72 hours of discovery, and for breaches resulting from extreme negligence the fines can go up to 5% of global annual turnover." (my emphasis).

January calls for shortcuts as I catch up with all I missed - and pass it on -

So, alongside the above, read me at Forbes in a recent post that has proved popular: Too Much Insider access to critical data is a growing risk:

And Happy New Year from 'Board Talk'. In the Twitter spirit of #cartoonsrule here is one to start your New Year off right....


/NewYorker">@NewYorker #CorpGov #cartoonsrule pic.twitter.com/QaYsOpeSDf

— Dina Medland (@dinamedland) January 11, 2015



Categories: Corporate, Accountability, Communication