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Brits May Outlaw Data Loss

Criminal proceedings could occur in cases of reckless or repeated loss of personal data

If some members of British Parliament get their way, IT managers may soon have the police to help them enforce their security policies.

According to a Reuters report, a group of MPs yesterday proposed legislation that would initiate criminal proceedings in cases of reckless or repeated loss of personal data.

Parliament's Justice Select Committee called for a package of new laws and stricter penalties to be imposed on organizations. The proposal follows a spate of recent breaches in personal data security in the U.K., which was highlighted by the loss of disks containing the personal information of some 25 million British citizens. (See UK Government in Uproar Following Data Loss.)

"The scale of the data loss by government bodies and contractors is truly shocking but the evidence we have had points to further hidden problems," said Alan Beith, chairman of the committee.

"It is frankly incredible, for example, that the measures HM Revenue and Customs has put in place were not already standard procedure," the panel said.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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