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Employee who took client details prosecuted and fined

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a warning to employees who take client records to a new company/employer that this is a criminal offence. As well as giving rise to implications for the employee in the form of injunctions and/damages claims by an employer all of which can be costly, risky and stressful, the ICO has highlighted the actions it took recently against Mr Lloyd who worked for Acorn Waste Management Limited in Shropshire.

Mr Lloyd, a former waste disposal employee left his job taking information about clients of his previous employer with him to his new job. His new employer was a competitor of Acorn Waste Management Limited. Mr Lloyd emailed details including contact details, purchase history and commercially sensitive data regarding 957 clients to a personal email address.

The ICO has reminded individuals that such information is the property of the employer and not the employee. Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 provides that unlawfully obtaining or accessing personal data is a criminal offence. It is punishable with a fine. The ICO is however calling for more effective sanctions to act as a stronger deterrent for individuals.

Mr Lloyd appeared at Telford Magistrates’ Court on 26 May 2016. He pleaded guilty and was prosecuted and fined £300. He was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and £405.98 in costs. 

Posted in: Employment

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