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Information has never been more valuable than it is in today’s digital age. Information is everything – it tells others so much about you that it can be a really powerful tool to use for organisations who want to market their products and services to a targeted audience.
The problem now is that it’s so easy to take large chunks of data – possibly containing millions of people’s personal information – and pass this on to someone who could make a fortune from it.
Despite legislation we have in the UK, the sale of information can be a serious problem.
As lawyers we know all too well how valuable information is. In our industry there were serious issues in terms of insurers, hospitals, garages, accident management services, and even the police selling accident victim’s information to lawyers for huge sums of money. Don’t worry – we were NEVER involved in it, and we’ve NEVER bought or sold claims; but it was a serious issue that was thankfully thwarted in 2013 with new legislation.
The problem now is that there is a vast ‘black market’ where people have been successfully tempted to wrongfully obtain information and sell it to organisations for personal gain. This, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is just not fair.
So what can be done about it?
It is the responsibility of organisations as data controllers to take effective steps to secure data and prevent it from falling in to the wrong hands. But even then it’s not unheard of for an employee to steal data and sell it on for profit; a serious offence that can result in a criminal prosecution. In fact, just last week the ICO reported the case of David Barlow Lewis, a former employee of insurance giants LV, who has been prosecuted for attempting to get another LV employee to sell him customer data.
Information like that can be of serious value to people who can use it effectively. There is a huge market for organisations that can directly target what may be an appropriate audience for their products and services.
Data controllers who fail to take effective steps to protect data they hold are liable if data falls in to the wrong hands; even if it’s an employee, the employer can still be vicariously liable, meaning they are still responsible to compensate victims appropriately.
We, as a firm of expert Data Leak Lawyers, are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that victims are entitled to receive the compensation they deserve if their information is leaked or abused.
We help people on a no win, no fee basis and we’re currently acting for individuals in both singular cases and large group actions. If you have been affected by a data leak, we can help you too.
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