Blaggers must be jailed, says Information Commissioner
Blaggers who obtain and sell private information such as medical records, bank statements and ex-directory telephone numbers should be jailed for up to two years, the Information Commissioner said.
Christopher Graham told The Independent: "This modern scourge is only going to be dealt with if the courts recognise it is a real crime." He said there was an urgent need to introduce tough punishments for blaggers, who currently receive average fines of £300 per offence for their "hugely profitable" practice.
Mr Graham said newspapers were a relatively small part of the market for private records, compared with other customers including debt collectors and claim management companies. "A lot of people involved in this business do not see it as a crime. They see it as akin to pinching the office stationery," he said. "If a custodial penalty was there, it would make life much easier."
Private detectives are alleged to bribe staff at banks, hospitals and phone companies to obtain confidential information.
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£38000 - £40000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: A leading consu...
£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Sheridan Maine: Are you an experienced Accounts Assista...
£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...