New figures released by law firm EMW in relation to complaints received by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the United Kingdom have revealed that the number of data protection complaints submitted to the office have doubled since the European Union’s General Data Protection legislation was introduced on May 25 this year.
ICO revealed that the office received 6,281 data complaints between May 25 and July 3. This represents a rapid increase from the 2,417 data protection complaints registered during the same period in 2017. This revelation points to the fact that firms storing sensitive personal information, including those in the financial sector, education and health were the subject to the most complaints. These make up 25% of the total number of complaints submitted.
In the press release from EMW, principal James Geary said: “A huge increase in complaints is very worrying for many businesses, considering the scale of the fines that can now be imposed. There are some disgruntled individuals prepared to use the full extent of GDPR that will create a significant workload for businesses. We have seen that many businesses are currently struggling to manage the burden created by the GDPR, whether or not that relates to the implementation of the GDPR or reportable data security breach incidents.”
GDPR legislation imposes severe financial regulations of up to €20 million (£16.5m) or four percent of global annual revenue. Under the previous data legislation regime in the UK the maximum fine was capped at £500,000.
Spam Levels Remain Steady while Web Domain Registrations Drop
Meanwhile, a separate report by US technology giant Cisco has revealed that the level of spams messages recorded has not dropped since GDPR was introduced. On May 1, 2018, the total volume of emails registered was 433.9 billion messages; spam accounted for 370.04 billion messages or 85.28 percent of all email. However, a review of the same usage on August 1, 2018, the total volume of messages recorded was 361.83 billion with 85.14 percent, or 308.05 billion messages, categorized as spam.
Cisco Talos recorded 358 billion emails in July. 85.23% of this amount were categorized as spam. Even when email volumes traditionally fall to holidays and other factors, spam levels remain around 85%. In July 2018 spam was broadcast from 230 different countries. Brazil, United States and China are the biggest broadcasters of spam with each responsible for 8.6%. The Russian Federation (8.3%), Poland (8.2%) and India (8.1%) follow next.
The Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group (Talos) is comprised of leading threat researchers supported by sophisticated systems to formulate threat intelligence for Cisco products that detects, analyzes and secures against both known and newly-developed threats to cyber security.
Average daily new domain registrations have actually fallen slightly since May 25, 2018. For the month leading to the May 25 introduction date of the GDPR legislation, according to Recorded Future, an internet technology company specializing in real-time threat intelligence. The company recorded an average of more than 223,500 new domain registrations every day. From May 26 to July 2, 2018, the average number of new domain registrations was 213,300 — a slight fall of 10,000 new domain registrations per day.