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Data Protection and the ICO

4th February 2015

Picture credit: Brian Carroll

On the 6th January our Business Development Manager attended an event in South Wales organised by a networking group called Digital Tuesday.   Digital Tuesday brings together a community of businesses committed to driving opportunity and economic growth through digital technologies. Each month, the topic for discussion and the presentations change – on the 6th January it was Cyber security.

Cardwave has been working with encrypted technologies and flash memory for a number of years – this started with DRM (Digital Rights Management) content for music and movie companies and today includes secure data recording, password management and encrypted flash memory for sensitive file and data storage.

One of the presentations at Digital Tuesday informed the audience of the powers of the ICO and its uncompromising methods of dealing with data leaks. The ICO is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights and takes no prisoners on its mission to protect individuals like you and I.  We were shown a number of examples of the power of the ICO.

First up was the £250K fine for Sony for when the personal information of millions of names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords – were stolen by hackers who broke into systems running the PlayStation Network (PSN) in April 2011.

This is a large fine by any standards and was eventually paid as Sony were forced to admit that better steps should and could have been taken to safeguard their customers information.

A second example, and a fine of £150k was served to a small online travel company who had also been hacked and the ICO found that along with the inadequate security measures, their customer data had not been maintained and was out of date.

These two companies are billions of pounds apart in terms of their business size. The data breaches were of significant difference in scale yet the fines served were not that different, demonstrating that businesses and corporations of all sizes must take equal measures to safeguard personal information.  In fact anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act. These make sure that personal information is:



  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection


Cardwave can help with a solution for carrying sensitive documents or personal information through its encrypted SafeToGo USB which safeguards this data while on the move. There are no known methods that would allow SafeToGo’s 256 Bit AES encryption to be cracked so your data is very safe even if you accidentally lost the drive.

For more information on SafeToGo contact us today via

For more information on the ICO and data protection please visit the ICO website

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Raspberry Pi

Cardwave are delighted to be recognised by the Raspberry Pi Foundation for being a valued partner and supplier. We have enjoyed a close business relationship with the foundation since the massively successful launch of the Raspberry Pi in early 2012. Cardwave works with memory distributor, Xel Electronics, who supply Samsung SD cards to Premier Farnell and RS Components, two of the companies authorised by the charity to supply the Raspberry Pi. We are pleased to work with the foundation again on this superb SD card offering. Visit website

"Partnering on another great offering from Raspberry Pi"

>Read more