News of the New Year’s Honours List data leak that hit the headlines last week didn’t come as much of a surprise to us.
Unfortunately, we see these kinds of leaks happening all of the time. They’re usually caused by human error, which we assume is the root of this one, and in most cases, they’re entirely avoidable. The law is clear, and everyone should know their responsibilities and ought to know that publishing the addresses for those receiving honours can be a breach of the law.
It’s understood that more than 1,000 people have been affected by the issue, with concerns raised over the security for some of those whose data has been leaked.
The New Year’s Honours List data leak is serious
Make no mistake about it: The New Year’s Honours List data breach is incredibly serious. Whenever personal information is misused or exposed, a key thing to consider is the context of the data at the centre of the incident. In this case, we have celebrities and military personnel whose addresses have been leaked, which could put them in danger.
It’s understood that security experts have already suggested that some of those affected will need to reassess their current arrangements.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is aware of the incident and is also said to be making enquiries. When you consider the provisional fines levied in the BA case of £183m and the Marriott case of £99m, the government themselves may well be on the end of a considerable fine.
Why we’re not surprised
We can only assume that the New Year’s Honours List incident has stemmed from human error. These kinds of human error incidents are incredibly common, and they happen a lot within the public sector specifically as well.
That’s why we’re really not surprised that something like this has happened. These kinds of leaks are taking place on an almost continual basis, and we’re taking on more and more claims for compensation for the victims affected.
The impact that a victim can suffer when their personal data has been leaked can be substantial, which is why the work that we do is so important. Although – in an ideal world – we’d prefer to see fewer breaches and better security, we know that this is somewhat of a pipe dream.
If the New Year’s Honours List incident is any kind of marker for what may be in store for the new decade, it seems that lessons are not being learned despite the introduction of the GDPR and the severe punishments that can now be issued.
When it comes to the work that we do, we always aim to put the victims of leaks, breaches and hacks first.
Victims can be entitled to make a claim for compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis, and that’s what we specialise in.
No matter how big or small the data may be, if the exposure or misuse can cause distress and problems, victims can be entitled to compensation.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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