Who looks out for your personal data? The European Union does. 

In May last year the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect. GDPR was essentially designed to give a thwacking slap on the wrists, or a hefty fine, to those organisations that didn’t do everything they could possibly do to secure customer data.

In the eight months since the introduction of this much welcomed legislation there have been over 59,000 personal data breaches reported across Europe. This isn’t the number of individual records; it’s the number of reported incidents.
  • The Netherlands, Germany and the UK topped the table in the report with approximately 15,400, 12,600, and 10,600 reported breaches respectively. 
  • The lowest numbers of reported breaches were made in Liechtenstein, Iceland and Cyprus with 15, 25 and 35 reported breaches respectively.

The findings, released in a report from DLA Piper, noted that Netherlands, with 89.8 reported breaches per 100,000 people topped the list when the number of notifications were measured against country populations, followed by Ireland and Denmark.

Of the 26 EEA countries where breach notification data is available, the UK, Germany and France ranked tenth, eleventh and twenty-first respectively on a per capita basis. Greece, Italy and Romania reported the fewest number of breaches per capita.

GDPR states:
  • Personal data breaches which are likely to result in a risk of harm to affected individuals must be notified to data regulators (within 72 hours). Where the breach is likely to result in a high risk of harm, affected individuals must also be notified. 
  • Sanctions for failing to comply with the new notification requirements include fines of up to €10 million, or up to 2% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher

To date 91 fines have been reported:
  • Not all of these relate to personal data breach and several relate to other infringements of GDPR. 
  • The highest GDPR fine imposed so far is €50 million, made against Google on 21 January 2019. This was a French decision in relation to the processing of personal data for advertising purposes without valid authorisation, rather than a personal data breach.

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Millions of customer records

  • In what would normally constitute a reason to be cheerful the number of publicly known data breaches decreased in 2018 year compared to 2017, according to a report from Risk Based Security. 
  • However, the sheer number of compromised sensitive records pulls you back to reality; 7.9 billion records compromised in 2017 compared to a ‘mere’ 5 billion or so in 2018. 
  • But to muddy the waters, the latest Breach Level Index from Gemalto, acknowledges that 945 data breaches led to 4.5 billion data records being compromised worldwide in the first half of 2018. However, this included the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook fraud in which over 50 million user profiles were harvested.

Personal data protection

Data leaks are reported in the headlines on a daily basis and people can feel so overwhelmed by the sheer number of breaches that they feel there’s little they can do to keep ahead of hackers.

It can almost feel like a full-time job as you try to determine if your online accounts might be at risk from the latest breach.

BullGuard Premium Protection lifts these concerns and keeps you safe. You simply enter your sensitive and personal data and it does the rest.
  • It scans the internet 24/7 for your information and if your registered details appear in public, for instance someone using your payment card details to make an online purchase, you receive an immediate alert allowing you to head off the fraudsters.

And of course it comes with the robust virus protection you’d expect from BullGuard as well as a Home Network Scanner to keep your home Wi-Fi network safe.