A jury in England has found four individuals and the firm providing loss adjusting and claims management services guilty on charges of unlawfully disclosing personal data that was illegally obtained regarding the financial information of a number of individuals including details of their banking transactions.

The firm used private investigators who obtained and disclosed the private information to the firm who then gave it to an unnamed insurer.

The criminal case was brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office who said that they had put a great deal of work into the investigation because illegal trade in confidential personal information threatens people’s privacy and security.

Two private investigators, a director of the loss adjusting firm and a senior loss adjuster were found guilty on various charges relating to obtaining the personal data or disclosing it to other parties.

They were charged under section 55 of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 which prohibits ‘knowingly or recklessly, without the consent of the data controller’ obtaining or disclosing personal data or disclosing the data to another person. Sections 105 and 106 of our Protection of Personal Information Act will make it an offence to obtain, disclose without authority or justification or sell a person’s account number or PIN number with a financial institution.