Regulator – Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

What it means to you – Fines

Data Protection Act 1998

The act itself can be found here

The ICO produce a handy guide click here to answer any questions you may have about the Data Protection Act

the act has 8 Principles

  1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless –
    (a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and
    (b) in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions in Schedule 3 is also met.
  2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.
  3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
  4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
  5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
  6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act.
  7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
  8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

Principle 7 – Information security

In practice, it means you must have appropriate security to prevent the personal data you hold being accidentally or deliberately compromised.

As most advisers records are stored somewhere on a computer system this is the point that can be addressed practically, and breached inadvertently. However good your process is unless you live it, or are forced to comply it is easy to slip up. Customer information in email or on an un-encrypted laptop or USB Pen would breach this Principle