ICO Fires Warning to Legal Professionals Following 'Troubling' Number of Data Breaches
7th August 2014
15 incidents reported in the past three months
The UK's privacy watchdog has fired a warning to barristers and solicitors following a spate of data protection breaches by legal professionals.
In a blog post, the ICO wrote that 15 incidents involving legal professionals breaching the Data Protection Act (DPA) have been reported in the last three months.
A serious breach of the DPA can see barristers and solicitors individually fined up to £500,000 - the same maximum penalty that can be applied to companies and public authorities. According to the ICO, it can be served following a breach provided that the incident "had the potential to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to affected individuals".
The DPA classes barristers and solicitors as data controllers in their own right, meaning they are legally responsible for any personal information they process, which is often of a highly sensitive nature.