The Jersey Data Protection Authority (JDPA) has issued a public statement regarding the outcome of an investigation into a series of data breaches. This is the first statement that the JDPA has issued under the authority of the Data Protection Authority (Jersey) Law 2018. The investigation occurred in response to alleged breaches of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 by CSS Limited (CSS).
The Information Commissioner found that CSS had failed to meet its legal obligations to protect personal data. The investigation revealed that CSS had not implemented appropriate technological and organisational measures to protect the security of the data it holds and that this failure resulted in unauthorised access to that information. CSS also did not have the relevant policies and procedures in place to allow it to properly respond to and deal with any data breach.
The personal data compromised by the breaches included identity documentation, travel itineraries, family information and employment documentation.
In response to these breaches, the Information Commissioner required CSS to undertake appropriate updates to its systems, provide and improve upon the training and awareness given to staff members and give notice to affected data subjects.
The JDPA has found it to be in the public interest to issue a public statement on this occasion to highlight the serious nature of the breaches and underlying causes, inform the community to improve the level of general awareness and encourage compliance with the Law. In making this determination, the JDPA took into account the following mitigating factors: CSS had cooperated fully with the investigation, had updated their IT systems and provided training for all staff.
JDPA Board Chair Jacob Kohnstamm commented that ‘The Board of the JDPA has determined that, on balance, the circumstances of this case were grave enough to warrant a public statement, but did not require the imposition of a financial penalty. Nevertheless, data processors and controllers should be aware that the JDPA have a range of enforcement options at its disposal and will impose fines when appropriate.’
‘All data controllers and processors must provide appropriate security for personal data and respond promptly and appropriately when they suffer a breach,’ said Information Commissioner Jay Fedorak. ‘This is particularly important when the data includes passport details and other information that could be used to facilitate identity theft.’
The new data protection laws implemented in 2018 provide the JDPA with enhanced enforcement powers. These include provisions to enable the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner to investigate and collect necessary evidence and to impose a range of sanctions of escalating severity. These sanctions can include one or more of the following: issuing a reprimand; issuing a warning; requiring a processor or controller to bring their processing into compliance; issuing a public statement about the outcome of an investigation; and, ultimately, imposing a financial penalty.
28 January 2020