I am sure the ICO can speak for itself on this matter and I would imagine they will pursue this as it develops. To me, this looks a standard press statement holding response until they can get involved, investigate, and come to some conlusions about what is happenning.
I would be alarmed if they were straight out of the blocks threatening a fine and denouncing the authority. It would appear the strategy is to grind slowly but grind fine.
With each fine and each undertaking and each notice, the pressure grows on authorities to get their act together. I would imagine that an economic model would show the fines peaking at some point and then falling back to a steady level as the basic infrastructure to avoid a fine should be in place and more specific breaches, that would move beyond the systems and procedures that are in place, will be what attracts attention.
I can imagine it will follow a trajectory similar to the use of the exemptions in FOI. Today, I would imagine that the ICO will give short shrift to anyone arguing s.41 applies simply because a document is marked confidential. The number of decision notices and guidance over the past five years has shown that for the exemption to be used a number of tests need to be met. Anyone bringing an argument that does not make note of that guidance and the decision notices, today, rather than 5 years ago, is going to face a harder task.
At the same time, I think very few, if any authorities, are going to make that introductory argument, which they may have made in 2005 or 2006.
ICO has responded.....
ICO statement on loss of laptops at NHS North Central London
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