Fine issued for data sale

A former employee of Nationwide Accident Repair Services (NARS) has been fined for illegally downloading and selling motorists’ personal data.

The employee, Phillip Bagnall, was caught after bosses at NARS noticed he was accessing suspicious volumes of customer data from his laptop outside of work hours. The company promptly called in cyber security consultants and after monitoring Bagnall’s system use over a week, found he accessed the data of 2,724 customers without the firm’s consent.

Bagnall was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) but refused to name who he had sold the data to.

Bagnall pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining data when he appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and was fined £500 and was also ordered to pay £364 costs and a £50 victim surcharge

ICO criminal enforcement manager Mike Shaw said it was a warning to people who thought that selling personal info was the way to a quick buck.

‘The consequences can be severe,’ he said. ‘Not only can it lead to a day in court and the attendant media coverage, but it can cost a person their job and can damage their future career prospects.’