Surge in UK GDPR Complaints as Spam Remains Persistent: ICO

New figures published by law firm EMW on to complaints submitted to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) indicate that the number of data protection complaints has doubled since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation became enforceable last May.

ICO announced that the office has been inundated with 6,281 data complaints from May 25 to July 3. This represents a rapid rise from the 2,417 data protection complaints filed during the same period last year This revelation points to the fact that firms storing sensitive personal data, including those in the financial sector, education and health had the most complaints registered against them. These account for 25% of the total number of complaints filed.

In the official release from EMW, principal James Geary stated: “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 can apply major fines of up to €20 million (£16.5m) or four percent of global annual revenue.

Spam Levels Persist as Web Domain Registrations Fall

Meanwhile, another report by US technology giant Cisco has announced that the level of spams messages recorded has not fallen since GDPR was introduced. On May 1, 2018, the total amount of emails registered was 433.9 billion messages; spam made up 370.04 billion messages or 85.28% of all email.  However, a review of the same usage on August 1, 2018, the total volume of messages registered was 361.83 billion with 85.14%, or 308.05 billion messages, classified as spam.

Cisco Talos registered 358 billion emails in July. 85.23% of this amount were classified as spam. Even when email volumes traditionally fall during traditional annual leave periods and other factors, spam levels remain around 85%. In July 2018 spam was issued from 230 different countries. Brazil, United States and China are the biggest senders of spam with each accounting for 8.6%. The Russian Federation (8.3%), Poland (8.2%) and India (8.1%) follow close behind.

The Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group (Talos) is made up of leading threat researchers supported by sophisticated systems to gather threat intelligence for Cisco products that identifies, analyzes and secures against both known and newly-developed threats to cyber security.

Average daily new domain registrations have actually dropped slightly since May 25, 2018. For the month before the May 25 introduction date of the GDPR legislation, according to Recorded Future, an internet technology firm that focuses on real-time threat intelligence, an average of more than 223,500 new domain registrations took place every day. From May 26 to July 2, 2018, the average number of new domain registrations recorded was 213,300 — a slight drop of 10,000 new domain registrations daily.