"Choose your data destruction supplier carefully and wisely to avoid £5000 data protection fine," BSIA tells Local Councils
| 02 February 2011
“To be fore warned is to be fore armed,” goes a popular axiom. Perhaps, guided by this age-long wisdom, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) last week advised local councils to think carefully when choosing data destruction suppliers, following a recent announcement from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
In a statement released earlier this week, the ICO confirmed that Councillors who handle personal data must check if they need to register as a data controller or risk a fine of up to £5,000.
The ICO is writing to councillors across the country to urge them to check if they are fulfilling their legal requirements under the Data Protection Act. Over 6,000 councillors are currently registered with the ICO, but a further 13,000 are potentially not fulfilling their obligations.
Russell Harris, Chairman of the BSIA's Information Destruction Section, warns: "Your data destruction supplier plays a vital role in ensuring your legal compliance to Data Protection laws, and as such, choice of information destruction supplier is crucial in helping your organisation avoid the significant financial consequences of data breaches through loss or theft."
Mr Harris reminds local councils: "In recent years, financial institutions in particular have been criticised for the careless way in which they were disposing of sensitive personal information. To avoid similar mistakes, councils should choose a trusted information destruction supplier who will dispose of their data correctly and in accordance with current laws."
Isn’t a word enough for the wise?
When choosing an information destruction supplier, local councils should specify compliance to European standards such as EN50131, as well as ensuring that all suppliers have procedures in place to safeguard data throughout its whole life cycle. The BSIA is a great place to start when searching for a reputable data destruction supplier, as association members adhere to strict British and European quality standards and are at the forefront of industry best practice.
If the words of our elders are words of wisdom, then the words of the BSIA are words of greater wisdom! Or what do you think?