Professional data destruction crucial as ICO fines reach £1m

Anthony Pearlgood, Chairman of the BSIA's ID section
Anthony Pearlgood, Chairman of the BSIA's ID section

As the total amount of fines levied by the Information Commissioner’s Office for breaches of the Data Protection Act hits the £1m mark, members of the Information Destruction Section of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) are reminding organisations of the importance of using a professional company to oversee data destruction.

Recently, it was announced that two more local authorities, in Croydon and Norfolk, had been fined a total of £180,000 for failing to keep sensitive information secure, a worrying sign that many public sector organisations are still unaware of the importance of a comprehensive data security policy.

Research carried out by the BSIA in 2011 showed a worrying lack of awareness among many organisations of the risks of non-compliance, with only 41% of those questioned having any understanding of the ICO’s ability to issue penalty fines.

Anthony Pearlgood, Chairman of the BSIA’s Information Destruction section, comments: “While our research showed that almost 1 in 5 organisations has fallen victim to serious data fraud, only half of the businesses questioned were actually using a professional company to oversee the destruction of their confidential data.

“More concerning still is that within that number only 50% of those who have taken the step to outsource data disposal knew whether their provider complied with the European Standard EN15713, which we believe should be one of the first questions asked of any secure waste disposal business by a prospective customer.”

The secure destruction of confidential data, whether it be stored on paper or electronically, is an essential aspect of an organisation’s data protection policy, and as such, choosing the right supplier is crucial.

Anthony continues: ““An organisation’s choice of information destruction supplier has a significant impact on the effectiveness of its data protection policy. As the trade association representing the UK’s private security industry, the BSIA is ideally placed to help any organisation find a reliable supplier that conforms to all the latest British and European standards relating to information destruction.”

To find out more about information destruction and to locate a reputable supplier near you, visit

BSIA Website