TalkTalk loses appeal against £1000 ICO penalty

Telco company, TalkTalk has lost an appeal in a case brought against it for £1,000 after the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruled it was slow to report a breach within 24 hours.

Information tribunal judge Angus Hamilton said in his written judgement: “The sole issue in dispute in this case is when TalkTalk could rightly be said to have ‘detected' the personal data breach or to have acquired ‘sufficient awareness' of the breach.”

When a customer alerted TalkTalk of the hack which affected 175,000 customers back in 2015, the ICO alleges that the company's CISO, Mike Rabbit, did not inform it quickly enough of the situation.

This is despite tribunal finding that the customer's letter gave sufficient detail to prove that a breach had occurred.

Making the case that it had only acquired “sufficient awareness” of the breach after concluding its own investigation, TalkTalk appealed against the subsequent £1,000 penalty. That appeal was lost when TalkTalk could not come up with another explanation for the incident other than a personal data breach.