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The UK's privacy watchdog has slapped down 34 organisations that haven't paid fees under the country's new data protection regime. Since May, data controllers – organisations or people that define how and why personal data is processed – have been required (PDF) to pay increased charges to the Information Commissioner's Office …
"Under the UK's previous regime, controllers had to register with the ICO and pay a fee ... depending on the firm’'s size and turnover. Failure to pay was a CRIMINAL offence. New data protection legislation that came into force made non-payment a civil offence, as well as boosting the charges."
Its only a civil offence now, have we gone backwards here???... Look forward to all those spam callers / emailers registering their latest phoenix firms... Yeah, that's going to work out well...
> Its only a civil offence now, have we gone backwards here??
A criminal offence requires a 'beyond reasonable doubt' level of evidence which, presumably, is hard to acquire and is easy for the defendant to dispute. A civil offence only requires a 'balance of probabilities' level of evidence which will be simpler and easier to obtain, so successful prosecutions should increase.
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