- About KEYW
How much are 1.9 million customer records worth? According to the United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), they're valued at more than $230,000, after fining Welcome Financial Services for a massive data breach, according to V3.
The now-defunct lending company was used as a poster child of a more hardline approach taken with companies that expose private data. Records from the company were lost after two unencrypted backup tapes disappeared and were never recovered.
Since April 2010, the ICO has issued 21 penalty notices, totaling more than $3 million, according to V3. Welcome Financial Services was just the third private business to be subjected to a fine.
"Over the past year the ICO has bared its teeth and taken effective action to punish organizations, many of which have shown a cavalier attitude to looking after other people's personal information," ICO information commissioner, Christopher Graham, told V3.
Although the ICO's aim is to cut down on such instances requiring fines, the heavy-handed punishments have had little impact. According to the ICO's annual report, complaints about lackluster data protection has not decreased significantly, taking a minor 0.3 percent dip to 12,985 complaints in the past 12 months.