Data breach complaints up 160% in UK since GDPR rules introduced
29 Aug 2018

Complaints about potential data breaches to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have more than doubled since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, new figures show.

Greater media publicity and Government advertising has boosted awareness of individuals’ new data rights under the law, and there is now a greater public focus on the accountability of firms handling personal data, said law firm EMW, which published the data.

“Increasing numbers of individuals are making complaints over potential data breaches, including some more disgruntled consumers making several, repeated complaints,” it said.

“There were 6,281 complaints between May 25 2018, when GDPR came into force, and 3 July 2018, a 160% rise from just 2,417 complaints over the same period in 2017.”

James Geary, Principal in EMW’s Commercial Contracts team, said: “A huge increase in complaints is very worrying for many businesses, considering the scale of the fines that can now be imposed.

There are some disgruntled consumers prepared to use the full extent of GDPR that will create a significant workload for businesses.”

Under the new regulations the cap on each fine will be raised to £16.5 million (or 4% of worldwide turnover of the entity being fined) – 33 times more than the current maximum £500,000 fine.

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