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A former candidate for Houghton Regis Town Council has been fined in a bizarre incident that led to a Bedfordshire Police data breach.
The former candidate had reportedly been arrested at his home when an officer left her netbook unattended with him. He then took a photo of the notebook and uploaded it online. He has been fined £200.00 and made to pay additional costs in the sum of £115.00.
This is certainly one of the more bizarre police data breach incidents we’ve ever come across before. It’s a prime example of just how easy it is for personal and potentially sensitive data to be breached and shared.
This bizarre Bedfordshire Police data breach happened by the simple act of an officer leaving a notebook in view of someone else. The former candidate took a photo of the book and uploaded it to Facebook. He did so without consent for either viewing, recording or sharing the data.
The incident happened in May 2018.
This is a serious offence. What’s equally as worrying is the fact that it happened in the first place. A police officer should not be leaving a notebook where it can be accessed or abused by someone else.
This particular Bedfordshire Police data breach incident could have been far worse. Had the image contacted information about a victim of abuse, or perhaps a witness in a sensitive or dangerous case, the consequences could have been devastating.
Martin White, Chairman of the Bench, said:
“This may not seem like a serious matter to yourself, but some of the data you disclosed actually had nothing to do with your case or grievance. There could have been details of police witnesses or informants, you don’t know what you were posting.”
We imagine that anyone whose data was shared in the Bedfordshire Police data breach incident have been told. Even if the breach resulted little harm, it’s a stern lesson for the police to ensure that they take greater care with the information they’re in charge of. This kind of incident can easily lead to a claim for data breach compensation.
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