Mobile operator Everything Everywhere has criticised changes to UK law as part of the recent European ePrivacy Directive, which will force ISPs and telecoms firms to disclose any data breach incidents.
The changes, which were brought in at the same time as new rules on cookies, will require service providers to inform the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the event of a data breach.
However, Martin Hoskins, Everything Everywhere's head of data protection and disclosure, explained at an event hosted by law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse that notification of every breach will prove a tiresome burden for companies and leave the ICO swamped.
"It's unworkable for service providers. Do we really want to spend a lot of time worrying about small breaches, when we don't even know what the threshold is, as we have had no consultation from the ICO on their interpretation?" he said.
"Previous work by the ICO and the government on data breach regulations have made clear that minimum thresholds for the type of breach, and the numbers affected, are necessary to ensure important issues are flagged up, not just any and every breach."
The changes could also have implications on Freedom of Information requests because any breaches sent to the ICO have the potential to be made public.
If a member of staff used a database to access the mobile number of a customer in order to contact them, for example, the law would require notification to the ICO.
This could lead to the potential publication of the incident under the Freedom of Information Act, which Hoskins argued could cause embarrassment for the affected customer.
Many of the attendees at the event seemed to agree with Hoskins that some incidents are too trivial to need reporting, despite the law insisting otherwise.
Concerns about the changes, which are set to be enacted before the end of June, have been raised on previous occasions by telecom firms.
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