The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) investigated 21 per cent fewer data protection cases in 2010/11 than in the previous year, suggesting that organisations are getting better at securing data.
The ICO's annual report noted that reported cases were down from 33,234 to 26,227 over the period, but that the watchdog closed nine per cent fewer cases over the same period, although it will no doubt hope to tackle the backlog in the new business year.
Information commissioner Christopher Graham explained that the ICO had worked hard to reduce the time it takes to deal with the average case.
"The average age of data protection case loads was 89 days in the previous year and 60 days last year, a drop of 33 per cent. This is a great achievement by ICO staff," he said.
Graham also touched on the ICO's new power to fine organisations in serious breach of the Data Protection Act, claiming that it had given the watchdog more credibility.
"Armed with the power to impose civil monetary penalties for the most serious data protection breaches, and following a more clearly articulated enforcement strategy, the ICO has been seen to be a robust regulator," he said.
Despite this, however, organisations in the private and public sectors continue to make major errors with data handling.
Figures released ahead of the report revealed that the private sector reported the most data breaches of any sector last year, accounting for a third of the 603 breaches reported to the regulator in 2010/11.
Public sector organisations have also incurred the wrath of the ICO recently. The NHS was chided for its repeated data protection failings after a hospital trust revealed that it had lost a laptop containing the details of eight million patients.
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