A former employee of breakdown services company RAC has plead guilty and been fined for the stealing of data of victims of road traffic accidents.
Asif Iqbal Khan, 42, was working for RAC as a Customer Solutions Specialist. Over a single month in 2019, the RAC had received 21 complaints from suspicious drivers who received calls from claims management companies following accidents in which the RAC had assisted.
A review of individuals that had accessed these claims found that Mr Asif Khan was the only employee to access all 21. An internal RAC investigation later reported suspicious behaviour from Mr Khan including taking photos of his computer screen with his phone.
A search warrant, executed by the ICO, seized two phones from Mr Khan and a customer receipt for £12,000. The phones contained photos of data on it relating to over one hundred road incidents.
Mr Khan pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing data in breach of Section 170 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when he appeared at Dudley Magistrates Court in January 2023. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge and court costs.
Stephen Eckersley, ICO Director of Investigations, said:
"Being involved in a road traffic accident can be deeply distressing - to then have this used and your data stolen as a result, adds insult to injury.
We know that receiving nuisance calls can be hugely frustrating and people often wonder how these companies got their details in the first place.
This case shows one such way that it happens. But also shows that those who do this crime will be caught, will be convicted and justice will be served."
If you have received a nuisance call, advice and how to report can be found at Nuisance calls and messages.
Notes to editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and a further five acts and regulations.
- The ICO can take action to address and change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.
- To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.