Yet another data breach…..

There’s been another one….this time Equifax one of the big credit rating companies has had data “stolen”. And it impacts large numbers  – 143 million people. Around the world. And the reaction to this is interesting. In the US Equifax have set up a website to let you know if you have been effected – in the UK nothing. Apparently the Information Commissioners office has “cause for concern”, and “will be advising Equifax to alert affected UK customers at the earliest opportunity”. And yet 2018 sees the arrival of GDPR perhaps the biggest single piece of legislation for protection of personal data ever conceived. The proposed new EU data protection regime extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover. So whilst the individuals effected are unlucky, Equifax is lucky as it could have been on the end of a $126M fine if this had happened at the same time next year. It’s revenue increased 18% in 2016 and its profit by 14%, so it can hardly say it couldn’t afford to keep things safe…..

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