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Saturday 22nd October 2016

What price privacy?

29th May 2006
A new report by the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, calls for tougher penalties for people convicted of buying and selling personal information illegally. Currently, offences against the Data Protection Act are punishable by a fine only of up to £5000 in the magistrate’s courts and without limit in the Crown Court. The report, What price privacy?, says the tougher penalties should include prison sentences of up to two years.

According to eHealth Insider, Thomas "cites the advent of large government IT systems, including those planned for the NHS, as drivers for the change in the law."

The report describes two cases: one in which an abusive husband was able to track down his ex-partner’s whereabouts through her parents’ medical records, and another, where NHS security foiled an attempt by a private investigator to obtain the personal information of a woman who was a vital prosecution witness in a police inquiry.

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