What happens to ICO fines?

Last week, the ICO fined facial recognition database company, Clearview AI Inc, £7,552,800 and ordered the company to delete all data about UK residents.

The UK’s Information Commissioner, John Edwards, said that:

“Clearview AI Inc has collected multiple images of people all over the world, including in the UK, from a variety of websites and social media platforms, creating a database with more than 20 billion images. The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable”.

The fine is one of the largest that the ICO has ever issued. Other large fines have been issued to British Airways (£20m), Marriott International Inc (£18.4m), and Ticketmaster (£1.25m).

But what happens to these fines?

Monetary Penalties

The ICO doesn’t keep the fines it issues. All monetary penalties go into the government’s general bank account at the Bank of England, known as the Consolidated Fund. The Consolidated Fund was set up in 1787 and is the account that all public revenue both enters and exits. This means that ICO fines could go towards any number of the UK’s expenses. This could be anything from health and social care, education, or even things like the financial settlement of the withdrawal from the EU.

Protecting Personal Data

The best way of ensuring you aren’t on the receiving end of an ICO fine is to ensure you are handling personal data safely and securely. The ICO website has a number of tools for businesses and individuals to use when processing data. They give advice on everything from General Data Protection Regulation guidance to how to destroy documents that you no longer need.

If you need a way to destroy your documents, we offer flexible and low-cost shredding services to suit your requirements. Submit a quick quote form today to see how we can help you.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive alerts about new blog articles, data protection advice, and Shred Station news.