Laying the foundation, the criminal courts in Europe are starting to take data protection seriously from now on. This has led to the first record high fine to two former T-Mobile UK mobile operator employees, says Stewart Room, who is a partner at the London Law firm named Field Fisher Waterhouse.
After stealing and then selling some customer data in 2008 from the T-Mobile UK mobile operator company, the Chester Crown Court fined the duo, David Turley and Darren Hames, of £73,700, or roughly $106,000. The fine isn’t what made this ruling such a landmark ruling. It is that it is a obvious sign that the court systems are no longer going to tolerate others taking personal data. It means personal data protection is now going to be taken seriously.
Darren Hames and David Turley both pleaded guilty. The charge was to offenses that are under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act, however the fines themselves were given due to the Proceeds of Crime Act. Both men were given separate fines. David Turley was fined £45,000 where as Darren Hames was fined £28,700. If failed to pay within the six months they are given, they both may serve up to 18 months in prison. The money received from the case will be used in help funding the prevention and detection of crime.
What does this mean for our data protection future? Usually the courts would give out minor sentences and fines for such cases. So, seeing the court system starting to take it seriously shows they mean business now, and will most likely not be so easy on those that steal personal data, or sell personal data. The law is now getting tough on such privacy abuses.