The ICO fines two charities for data protection breaches
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) with fines following a thorough investigation.
The ICO’s investigation revealed that the charities were breaching data protection law through a number of business practices. In particular, they were wealth screening donors through publically available information, without their consent, to investigate their income, property values, lifestyle and friendship circles. They were also using companies to find out donor’s information where the donor had not provided it. Finally, they were sharing the donor’s data with other charities - the RSPCA were doing this even where the donor had ticked a box to opt out.
The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, exercised her discretion and reduced the fines significantly. The RSPCA were fined £25,000 and the BHF were fined £18,000. However, the ICO has warned that similar breaches could have resulted in fines of ten times as much.
If you want to discuss data protection in more detail, contact the Commercial Contracts team on 0345 070 6000.