“The only sanction available to the courts following a criminal conviction is a fine, which in some cases will be much less than the financial gains made by the offender”

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is seeking greater legal and investigative powers to carry out search and seizure warrants, including the ability to confiscate assets in order to tackle criminal misuse of data.

In a consultation launched earlier this month, the UK’s data regulator is seeking public views on its request for extended legal powers.

Comments need to be in by December 6, the watchdog said late Friday.

The ICO is at the front line of the changing nature of criminal activity and the use of personal data to enrich bad actors.

Currently the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) lets the agency inflict financial penalties on entities that are responsible for civil breaches of the law, but it has limited powers when it comes to investigating criminal offences.

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