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Prosecuted for taking personal information

The temptation for departing employees to take one or two pieces of useful information with them is sometimes too much.

One ex-employee has found out to his detriment that the Information Commissioner’s Office doesn’t take kindly to this. He was prosecuted for emailing details of 957 clients to his personal email address as he was leaving to start working for a rival company. The documents contained personal information, which included customers’ contact details, purchase history, and commercially sensitive information. A guilty plea followed, and a fine, costs and victim surcharge imposed.

While there may be little an employer can do to prevent these sorts of breaches happening (the offence, by the way, was unlawfully obtaining data), the possibility of a conviction – in addition to civil remedies – could be the deterrent that is needed.