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Public authorities, police forces and members of the public are being asked to help uncover rogue private investigators, which could face fines of up to £500,000 (US$765,050) if they are found to have illegally accessed people’s data. A new campaign launched by the Information Commissioner, aims to uncover the extent of the problem after issues were highlighted during the Leveson inquiry and by the Home Affairs Select Committee. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, says that the majority of private investigators act in compliance with the Data Protection Act, however there are less scrupulous professionals out there that may by trying to take shortcuts by illegally accessing people’s data. Some private investigators were also not meeting their obligations by failing to make sure the information they handled was accurate or that it was securely deleted once it was no longer required. Graham has now written to police forces, public bodies and private investigation firms asking them to report any concerns they have. “By shining a light into the darkest corners of the private investigation industry, we are aiming to root out any criminal elements that continue to cause public concern and blight the professional reputation of their counterparts,” said Graham.

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