It's safe to say you've entered your personal information at some point online. Whether it's a new doctor form, a purchase form, or a crowdfunding campaign, most people in today's world have given some pretty intimate details away on the Web. Before the advent of the Internet, this information was usually stored in a file folder behind a desk. Today, though, if not protected properly, it can show up in a myriad of unwanted, sometimes very public places.
The Information Commissioner's office of the United Kingdom released its annual report Thursday highlighting the actions it took to protect the UK from breaches of personal data over the last year. According to the report, the ICO resolved 15,492 data protection complaints in the last financial year (a 10 percent increase) and issued £1.97 million in penalties to companies found to breach data protection rules — "in particular, the disclosure of personal data in error," the report says. 2014 was, in effect, a record year when it came to cases filed and penalties issued, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said at a press event in conjunction with the release of the report.
The ICO enforces laws such as the Data Protection Act of 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act of 2000 across the entire United Kingdom, and, according to Graham, the large number of cases means his agency needs more funding and staffing. For companies both in the UK and abroad it means that data is going unprotected and that solutions need to be put in place in order to bring these case numbers down.
"Commercial players too need to win the trust of suspicious and canny consumers who are fed up with being taken for fools by big brands and big business with their often opaque and tricky privacy statements," Graham wrote in the report. "Effective, well rounded regulation that can keep up with the fast moving world of digital will be needed to restore reputations and rebuild confidence."
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.