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According to recent media reports, a large number of psychotherapy patients, who belong to the same large clinic in Finland, found themselves on the receiving end of blackmail from a data breach.
Vastaamo, a countrywide practice, appears to have been targeted in two separate breaches, one potentially occurring in March 2019, and an initial attack as far back as November 2018. It appears that victims’ personal data was stolen from the company’s data storage system.
Although this is not a case we can represent people for, with it not being in England or Wales, it is an important one to consider. Ultimately, the risks – as we often advise – when it comes to this kind of data breach can be severe.
Blackmail from a data breach is a very serious example of the damage that can be done to victims of what is becoming a common issue in our digital age.
Medical organisations in particular hold highly sensitive information that could offer a wealth of blackmail fuel for hackers and criminals who seek to access such private details for their own gain. As a consequence of blackmail from a data breach, victims can feel helpless and exposed, and they can be pressured into handing over large sums of money to the blackmailer.
In many cases, victims can feel that the authorities cannot help them and that their privacy can never be restored to them again, even if a blackmailer is caught.
In the case of Vastaamo, amongst the personal information were the patients’ personal identification records and, even more worryingly, notes which detail the private discussions between the patients and their therapists.
Now, patients have been subjected to highly intimidating exchanges with the blackmailer, who has been targeting them.
As specialist Data Leak Lawyers, we have witnessed first-hand the immense psychological distress that can be caused in cases such as this; not only due to blackmail from a data breach, but also resulting from other anxiety-inducing factors such as:
· Fears that private matters will be exposed to people you know;
· Worry that the details could be used to hack online accounts;
· Worry that private medical information may find its way to current or potential employers, harming job prospects.
In some cases, the stress can be so far-reaching and intense that the victims are diagnosed with a psychological disorder, such as an anxiety disorder or depression.
If your data has been leaked or hacked from a third-party organisation, the Data Leak Lawyers are here to help. With one quick phone call, we can offer free and no-obligation advice and we are usually able to advise you within minutes whether your data leak incident makes you eligible for of No Win, No Fee compensation representation.
As experts with years of experience in data leak law, you could place your sensitive case in our hands as the Data Leak Lawyers. We are here to help you.
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