Our information is being increasingly shared for commercial purposes to businesses who use it to provide us with goods and services. However, local government bodies also process and store huge amounts of our personal data. Their need to monitor and manage the local community means that councils often require access to highly sensitive information. In the event of a local authority data leak, the consequences can be severe.
The important duties that they owe to residents do not appear to prevent local authorities from breaching data protection regulations. It is not acceptable that branches of government should neglect the law of the central government they are linked to, particularly in cases where their residents are exposed to significant data security risks.
We have represented clients in many local authority data leaks compensation claims. Anyone affected by a data breach such as this can contact us for free, no-obligation advice about No Win, No Fee representation.
Local authorities risking residents’ information
We are all too familiar with data breach incidents in which the error of an employee or overall workplace negligence has brought about a local authority data leak. Despite the fact that councils, like any other organisation, are required to process data safely and securely, the same mistakes continue to be made. The impact can be severe for the victims.
The sensitive information held by councils can include social services records, employment records, financial information, addresses, and even matters such as adoption records. This information may offer intimate knowledge of each resident’s private life. As such, if it falls into the wrong hands, the repercussions can be devastating.
One example of the exposure of highly sensitive information can be found in the Bristol City Council data leak, in which an employee failed to hide the long recipient list of a mass email. The result was exposing the names and email addresses of children with disabilities and special educational needs.
Hackney Council also suffered a cyberattack last November, and hackers have recently published files of data that they claim they stole from the council. This shows that local authorities are also frequently targeted by cybercriminals as well.
Claiming for a local authority data leak
If you have been affected by an incident such as those described above, you may be able to claim compensation for a local authority data leak.
It may be that the data leak arose due to an accidental misstep of an employee, but failing to protect your data in this way can still constitute a breach of data protection law.
In a data breach claim, you could be eligible to claim for distress and for any financial losses or expenses that you may have suffered. For instance, a local authority data leak could expose your email address, which could then be used by criminals to target you with email scams. This is just one example of the many risks you may be exposed to following a data leak.
Make your claim
Engaging the services of an expert law firm is a vital step in achieving justice for the effects of a data breach. We have years of experience in data breach claims, and currently sit on the Steering Committee for the first GDPR Group Litigation Order in England and Wales, brought against British Airways.
To find out if you are eligible to claim for a local authority data leak, simply contact us for free, no-obligation advice about your case.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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