ICO faced internal data breach; remains tight-lipped

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The UK watchdog, Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in charge of ensuring data privacy and security, has been hit by a data security breach, which it describes to be a “non-trivial data security incident.”

The annual report of ICO states that it suffered an internal data breach without mentioning the details.

Page 46 of the document discusses an instance when it faced a “non-trivial” data loss in the past year which was immediately investigated on internally and is now considered closed. The report noted that it to be a “self-reported breach” and it was treated in the same way as the other complaints from others are.

The ICO noted that the damage or distress due to the incident was low and so it was not considered as a serious breach. The investigation was carried out taking into account all the recommendations normally adopted and the issue is now closed.

The report highlighted that the case load has increased in spite of facing budget cuts every year since 2009. The ICO has received about 259,903 calls and has resolved 15,492 complaints which is a rise of 10 percent in both cases.

ICO has also requested the government to grant more funding to carry out its responsibilities effectively. It explained how complex and challenging the issues have become and re-iterated that more funds should be granted for better performance.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said in a statement that it has dealt with some major issues such as Snowden spying scandal, the NHS care data plans, and other cases related to major corporations like Google, Facebook, etc.

He also mentioned that the importance of the ICO is “diluted” because of lack of funds. The Ministry of Justice which is responsible to allot funds for the ICO said that it has been meeting regularly with ICO to discuss funding issues and others whenever required.