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For a long time now, we’ve had concerns that some organisations are covering up data breaches to avoid fines and compensation claims that we represent people for.
According to recent research, we’re right to have such concerns.
A report by a security company suggests that more than 60% of IT leaders would be tempted to cover up a data breach if the opportunity arose. In some instances, the figure was actually over 70%. And all this is to potentially escape the consequences of a data breach, which is completely unacceptable.
The news that organisations and people within them are quite prepared with the idea of covering up data breaches isn’t surprising.
We remain concerned as to whether all victims of publicised data breaches are properly informed that their information has been exposed. We know errors can happen, as was confirmed with the recent increase in the number of people affected by the 2015 TalkTalk data breach.
But the idea that more than half of people would be prepared to cover up an incident means that it could easily be happening right now. There may be data breaches that have taken place that already have been covered up, and fair justice cannot be implemented.
Organisations covering up data breaches undoubtedly has an impact on compensation claims. Victims can only seek the justice they’re entitled to if they’re aware that their personal information has been exposed or misused.
Right now, there may be victims of data breaches who have no idea that they could be entitled to make a claim for compensation; all because they haven’t been informed.
People and organisations can be punished for covering up data breaches. The fines they could face from the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) could be higher, and data breach compensation amounts can also be higher as well.
We’d prefer people to be honest and open up about a breach right away and ensure that it’s duly reported when necessary. But we know this doesn’t always happen.
Remember: as a victim of a data breach you can be entitled to make a legal case for compensation. We may be able to represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis as well. And if you find out that you’ve been the victim of an incident that has been covered up before, make sure you let us know!
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