BBC News reports that members of the House of Commons Justice Select Committee have called for increased powers to imprison and fine individuals who abuse the Data Protection Act. Stating that current fines are an "inadequate" deterrent, a report filed by the MPs warns that the Information Commissioner's Office lacks sufficient powers to audit organizations and investigate data abuse incidents. The committee's report said, "We are concerned that the information commissioner's lack of inspection power is limiting his ability to investigate, identify problems and prevent breaches of the Data Protection Act, particularly in the insurance and healthcare sectors." The ICO welcomed the committee's report, saying, "The government should lose no more time in bringing in appropriate deterrent sentences to combat the unlawful trade in personal data."
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