Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Elementary, my dear blagger

Given the following Guardian report of a rare prosecution of someone for obtaining private information by deception, can you work out why "blagging" is such a growth industry?

Nicholas Munroe, 32, of west London, conned civil servants into giving home addresses of more than 250 people over the phone. He was convicted of 44 offences of stealing and selling private data in a prosecution brought by Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, and fined £3,200 plus £5,000 costs…

Yesterday Phil Taylor, solicitor for the information commissioner, told the court that Munroe was paid £25 for each address, and on one day alone made £6,000 by obtaining 245 addresses through a "few telephone calls". His company, Infofind, had an annual turnover of £100,000.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has called for gross violations of the Data Protection Act to be subject to jail terms. Perhaps courts could take the initial step of fining offenders more than their profits?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Whatever happened to "proceeds of crime" legislation?