Monday 24 July 2017

Yahoo set to avoid any fine here for data breach

The web giant Yahoo looks set to escape any fine or serious sanction from the Irish data regulator after the company admitted to an email data breach affecting 500 million accounts. Photo: Reuters
The web giant Yahoo looks set to escape any fine or serious sanction from the Irish data regulator after the company admitted to an email data breach affecting 500 million accounts. Photo: Reuters
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

The web giant Yahoo looks set to escape any fine or serious sanction from the Irish data regulator after the company admitted to an email data breach affecting 500 million accounts.

Helen Dixon's office has said it is launching a joint probe into the matter along with US authorities. However, experts close to the investigation played down the chance of serious punitive action against Yahoo.

The Irish data protection commissioner is Yahoo's principal governing regulator in Europe. But under current Irish law, companies rarely receive punishment for data breaches, instead garnering written admonishments and enforcement "notices".

The most serious punishment meted out in recent years was the 2013 case of Loyaltybuild, where the Clare-based marketing company was ordered to cease all processing of customer data pending the repair of its systems.

The data watchdog is to get substantial new powers in 2018, when it can independently issue fines of up to €20m, or 4pc of annual turnover, for serious data breaches.

Yahoo is set to argue that it could not reasonably have prevented the unprecedented hack because the perpetrator was a "state actor" and not a cybercriminal.

Irish Independent

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