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GDPR: Prevention better than cure

The TalkTalk fine is a timely reminder that data protection compliance is mandatory, not optional, says James Castro-Edwards

8 September 2017

In August, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined telecoms provider TalkTalk £100,000 for a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The breach affected up to 21,000 TalkTalk customers, and follows the £400,000 fine issued by the ICO in October 2016 for a previous failing.

However, the DPA will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when its provisions take effect on 25 May 2018. The GDPR is significantly more prescriptive than the DPA, and includes heavy penalties, and organisations are expected to be compliant from day one. The TalkTalk fine therefore comes as a timely reminder to organisations that data protection compliance is mandatory, not optional.

The enforcement activity taken against the telecoms giant confirms that the ICO will take action against non-compliant organisations. However, in the same week as th...

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