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February 23, 2010

SMEs ignorant of data protection changes

Survey finds firms unaware of potential £500,000 fines

By Vinod

SMEs are clueless about data protection and the hike in fines for breaches coming into force in a few months.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of SMEs did not know they could be stung with up to a £500,000 fine for failing to keep data protection laws, according to a poll of 154 small and medium firms by Eclipse Internet.

While most had at least heard about the Data Protection Act, only 22% were aware that its powers were being extended in April 2010, giving the Information Commissioner’s Office the ability to hand out large fines to firms deemed to have put personal data at risk.

Clodagh Murphy, director at Eclipse Internet, warned that the Government needed to do more to raise awareness among the SME community.

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