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    ComputerWeekly: T-Mobile data theft case: why is it important?

    ComputerWeekly reports on a case in the UK and why it’s important for privacy:

    The Chester Crown Court has ordered two former employees of UK mobile operator T-Mobile to pay a total of £73,700 after stealing and selling customer data from the company in 2008, but why is this a landmark ruling?

    First, it is a record fine for data protection offences, but more important than that, is that for the very first time we are seeing the criminal courts taking data protection seriously, says Stewart Room, partner at London law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse. […]

    Turley was ordered to pay £45,000 and Hames was ordered to pay £28,700. Both face an 18-month prison term if they fail to pay within six months. […]

    Room, a privacy, data protection and data security lawyer, says that until now, the courts have been imposing only derisory fines for data protection offences, so the change should not be underestimated.

    “If we view this fine in the context of the monetary penalty of £120,000 imposed on Surrey County Council, then we can see that the law is now getting tough on privacy abuses,” he said. […]

    This case is the first time the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has applied for use of confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said the case marks a new chapter of effective deterrents on data crime where the courts will act to recover the ill-gotten gains.

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