European Data Protection Digest

Group Says Bank Data Breaches On the Rise

DATA LOSS—UK

May 27, 2011

Bloomberg reports that eight banking lenders are suspected of breaking rules on protecting customer data for a total of more than 500 times in one year, according to UK consumer rights group Which?. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has received complaints that banks failed to give customers copies of data held on them, the report states, and gave data to third parties. Complaints against financial institutions have risen 10 percent from 2009, the group says. It claims the problem could be much more widespread, but few consumers know how to report breaches. A spokesman for the ICO told the IAPP Europe Data Protection Digest that it has identified financial services as one of its priority areas and that it is working closely with that sector to help it make improvements, adding, "Where we encounter systemic problems, we are committed to taking appropriate regulatory action, including imposing financial penalties in the most serious cases."
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