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Norwegian parliament fined

The Norwegian parliament – the Storting – had a data breach in late 2020. In January, the Data Protection Authority gave notice of a NOK 2 million fine for inadequate security. We have now considered the Storting’s comments and decided to maintain the fine. 

“Our conclusion is that the Storting’s administration failed to implement suitable technical and organisational measures to achieve satisfactory security,” says acting Director Janne Stang Dahl.

Comments submitted by the Storting’s administration were considered

In these comments, the Storting's administration acknowledges that IT security could have been better at the time of the attack. At the same time, the administration claims that its handling must be seen in light of the fact that the Storting was greatly affected by the pandemic and the nationwide lockdowns that were imposed in early March of 2020, in addition to the subsequent holiday period. In its comments, the administration also informed the Data Protection Authority that parliamentary representatives and party employees were not subject to the administrative authority of the Storting's Secretary General, which made the subsequent process rather time-consuming.

“After an overall review, however, we do not find that these comments are of any material relevance for the question of whether or not we issue a fine, or its size,” says Dahl.

Lack of satisfactory security measures

The data breach related to unauthorised logins to e-mail accounts belonging to an unknown number of parliamentary representatives, as well as administrative and party secretariat staff. The Data Protection Authority has placed particular emphasis on the fact that the Storting had not implemented two-factor authentication or similar effective security measures to achieve satisfactory protection.

Please note that this decision may be appealed and that the Storting may make further objections in connection with the hearing of an appeal by the Data Protection Authority and the Privacy Appeals Board.