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Phone hacking scandal prompts closer look at ICO’s call for jail terms

PRIVACY LAW—UK

July 15, 2011

A renewed interest in issuing custodial sentences for those who flout data protection law has emerged in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. In a speech this week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said those convicted of obtaining personal data by deception should be jailed, according to a BBC News report. And Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged that 2006 reports from the Information Commissioner's Office that detailed data handling issues and recommended custodial sentences for data infractions were not given the attention they deserved. Stewart Room, a partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse in London, told the IAPP Europe Data Protection Digest that the scandal "has captured the public imagination and the Coalition Government will have to react...The introduction of jail sentences is now inevitable."
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