It is understood that a serious Greater Manchester Police data breach may have affected thousands of victims of serious crimes.
In an exclusive story broken from ManchesterMill.co.uk, it has been reported that a whistle-blower has revealed the details of the serious data leak to the media. The coverage confirms that information had been uploaded to a “test system” and may have been accessible on a third-party IT contractor’s website for some two months.
Information may have included the names and addresses of victims of serious crime, including sexual assault and domestic abuse. Data may have also included the details for informants and witnesses involved in cases as well.
A worrying data breach
The Greater Manchester Police data breach event is an incredibly worrying one. Although it has been suggested that there is no evidence that third-party access has taken place, it cannot be ruled out at this stage. We know that hackers and cybercriminals go to great lengths to find exposed information, and the fact that the exposed data was reportedly accessible for two months increases the risks.
This is precisely the kind of information that needs to be kept safe and secure, and it is also the kind of data that criminals want to exploit. Victims of serious crimes can be entitled to anonymity by law, which means that any breach of their privacy can be far worse in the context of what has happened to them.
What is being done about the Greater Manchester Police data breach?
Victims of the Greater Manchester Police data breach should be informed quickly if their personal data has been exposed. They should also be told exactly what information has been affected as well.
It is understood that the Force is investigating the incident. We also understand that it has been reported to the UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is a breach that will require careful investigation from the ICO, and they could issue substantial fines given the nature of the data that has been exposed.
Any fine issued by the ICO is designed to punish the organisation for a breach, but it does not cover justice for victims by way of a legal case. Victims could be entitled to bring their own legal case for damages, which we will outline below.
Could victims claim compensation
Anyone affected by the Greater Manchester Police data breach could be entitled to claim compensation with our expert team on a No Win, No Fee basis.
The GDPR can allow eligible victims whose personal information has been exposed or misused to receive compensation for any distress caused by the loss of control of their data. Generally speaking, the more sensitive the information is, the more a legal case could be valued at. This is usually the case because the distress that victims suffer when it comes to this kind of information is substantial, and awards can be in the thousands or tens of thousands of pounds mark.
Given the nature of this breach, victims could be entitled to substantial damages.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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