A new way to protect that sensitive information

When employees, directors, partners or shareholders leave a business there is often a worry that they will try to take their clients with them.  Often restrictive covenants will be in place to try to prevent this. However, they are not always effective, and the business would have to incur legal costs in order to enforce those restrictive covenants in civil proceedings.

Where there are no restrictive covenants or they are ineffective, it might be argued that the person has wrongly taken confidential information.  This is often uncertain and again, civil court proceedings may be required to establish the facts. However, there may be another way. 

Data relating to clients and customers held by a business in any format is protected by the Data Protection Act. In a recent case, an employee who was about to leave his employer, sent details of 957 clients to his personal email address. Sending himself that information breached Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Criminal proceedings were brought, he was prosecuted, found guilty and fined. 

The threat of a criminal record is likely to make anyone think twice before taking information to which they have no right.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.