A former recruitment consultant has been fined for unlawfully taking personal data from his employer after leaving his job to set up his own rival business.
Daniel Short left the recruitment company VetPro Recruitment in October 2017 to then go on to set up a similar company called VetSelect a short while later.
Once VetPro became aware of the new company, it began to have concerns about the integrity of the database it used to recruit vets and nurses, which contained the personal data of more than 16,000 people.
VetPro, based in Devon, contacted Short to ask if he had downloaded any of the information from the database and when he admitted to taking some personal data, claiming it was for his own record of achievement, the matter was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
During an investigation it was discovered that the former employee had stolen the details of 272 individuals from VetPro’s database for commercial gain.
Short pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining personal data under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 – he was fined £355 and was ordered to pay costs of £700 as well as a victim surcharge of £35.
Mike Shaw, Criminal Investigations Manager at the ICO, commented, “Short thought he could get away with stealing from his old employer to launch his own company.
“Data Protection laws are there for a reason and the ICO will continue to take action against those who abuse their position.”
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