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ICO Raises Concerns About Legal Data Protections

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned the legal profession to ensure they keep personal information secure and take steps to prevent data breaches. A warning has been issued following a number of complaints concerning barristers and solicitors in recent months.

The ICO has dealt with 15 incidents involving members of the legal profession over the past three months. Information handled by barristers and solicitors can often be very sensitive and this further stresses the importance of firms needing to make use of devices to limit access to data.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, said: “The number of breaches reported by barristers and solicitors may not seem that high, but given the sensitive information they handle…that number is troubling.

“It is important that we sound the alarm at an early stage to make sure this problem is addressed before a barrister or solicitor is left counting the financial and reputational damage of a serious data breach,” he added. “These measures will set them on the road to compliance and help them get the basics right.”

The ICO has published a number of tips to help legal workers protect the information they have access to. Advice given includes limiting the amount of information that is taken off site, the use of encryption when sending files, ensuring old files and equipment are disposed of securely and following rules on the storage of information. At present, the ICO can issue penalties of up to £500,000 to those who are found guilty of a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.

3M™ Privacy Filters and Screen Protectors are the fast, effective and affordable way to keep confidential on screen data, confidential. For screen sizes ranging from 10.1” up to 30” diagonal, the 3M Privacy range provides a solution for every laptop, desktop and mobile devices too.

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