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Avoidable Rotherham Council data leak

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There’s been an avoidable Rotherham Council data leak, the likes of which is not an uncommon type of data incident, particularly for a local authority.

Almost 900 people are reportedly affected by the leak, with victims calling the incident “extremely serious” and worrying about the possibilities of falling victim to crime.

One of the most common types of legal cases we run are claims for council data breach compensation. In fact, a huge proportion of the individual cases we’re fighting for justice in involve local authority services. This incident, unfortunately, is unsurprising to hear about.

About the Rotherham Council data leak

The Rotherham Council data leak reportedly involves the personal details for 897 people. The recipients of an email were sent each other’s private email addresses in yet another one of these avoidable leaks of this nature.

The council has been criticised over the incident, with some of the victims worried about the potential for their information being sold on and falling victim to fraud. It only takes one compromised email address for the information to easily go wider as well.

What’s being done about the Rotherham Council data leak?

The Rotherham Council data leak has been reported to the UK’s data watchdog, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). The new GDPR rules will apply, and the ICO have the power to set fines that can be in the millions.

How far the ICO goes with any punishment will likely involve considering factors such as the nature and extent of information leaked, and how they council has acted in the aftermath of the incident.

A formal apology that has been issued by the council, which reads:

“I am contacting you as we have become aware of a data breach which may have resulted in your email address being shared with other landlords who own or manage privately rented property in Rotherham.

You will have received this email, too. This was an error and is currently under investigation by the council. We are sorry that this has happened and we will be ensuring this cannot happen again.”

This is another avoidable council data leak, the likes of which we see all the time when people come to us for help.

Council data leak compensation claims are worryingly common. With the wealth of personal and sensitive data they hold, the victims of leaks can suffer serious distress and harm.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on March 21, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Council Employee Data Breach Latest and tagged with | | |

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