Marking the first conviction from an inquiry by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office into a company’s use of private detectives, insurance company Woodgate and Clark Ltd, as well as two senior staff, received fines totaling more than 150,000 GBP for illegally obtaining banking records during an investigation, the Guardian reports. The two employees were said to have “turned a blind eye” to what the ICO referred to as an “obvious fact” that the information obtained by the private investigator was illegally obtained. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said, “The illegal trade in personal information is not only a criminal offence but a serious erosion of the privacy rights of UK citizens. As well as these record fines, the organisations and individuals involved also face serious reputational damage as a result of being prosecuted by the ICO.”
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