Reporting from Israel, legal consultant Dr. Omer Tene writes:
The Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority (“ILITA”), Israel’s privacy regulator, continues to up the ante for data controllers in Israel. This week ILITA imposed a $70,000 (NIS 258,000) fine against a company illicitly trading personal data.
The company, M.N.R. Data Systems, markets products and services for locating debtors as part of judgment execution proceedings. The company provided its customers, including dozens of law firms, with illicitly obtained data to help them locate debtors and identify their relatives. As part of the criminal investigation, ILITA obtained a warrant to search and copy data from the company’s computers and databases.
The latest fine comes after ILITA penalized several controllers, from both the public and private sector, with fines of up to $50,000. Israel’s parliament (the Knesset) recently approved an increase in the maximum fines ILITA is authorized to levy. In addition, under a government-sponsored bill currently pending in the Knesset, ILITA would be authorized to impose civil sanctions in an amount of up to $1 million, and would have far reaching powers of interrogation, search and seizure, including, in limited circumstances, warrantless search of computer data.