Data breach complaints rise 160pc since May

Data breach complaints rise 160pc since May

Complaints about potential data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have more than doubled since May.

Between 25 May and 3 July, the ICO received 6,281 complaints which is an increase of 160 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Despite the stricter regulations that have come into play since May this year, figures from the commercial law firm EMW have shown a significant rise in complaints.

“A huge increase in complaints is very worrying for many businesses, considering the scale of the fines that can now be imposed,” James Geary, the principal at EMW.

“There are some disgruntled individuals prepared to use the full extent of GDPR that will create a significant workload for businesses.”

“We have seen that many businesses are currently struggling to manage the burden created by the GDPR, whether or not that relates to the implementation of the GDPR or reportable data security breach incidents,” he added.

The new means that companies can be fined €20 million (£16.5 million) or four percent of their worldwide turnover. This is compared to the previous law, where the maximum fine was £500,000.

Several large-scale data breaches have pushed the issue into the forefront. On Friday, T-Mobile said hackers had gained access to the details of around two million of its US customers.

Last week the retailer Superdrug also announced cybercriminals had managed to access the personal information of 20,000 customers.  

“We believe the hacker obtained customers’ email addresses and passwords from other websites and then used those credentials to access accounts on our website,” said Superdrug.

“We have contacted the police and Action Fraud [the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime arm] and will be offering them all the information they need for their investigation.”