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It’s understood that a Bromford data breach incident occurred last year after the housing association accidentally sent letters to the old addresses for hundreds of tenants.
News of the breach comes from the media outlet Inside Housing. The error appears to be linked to some form of system issue where the old addresses for some tenants was copied into a new system. Some 30,000 letters were then sent to tenants in relation to rent reviews, and it’s believed that 253 of them were sent to the wrong (old) address.
After concerned tenants contacted the company about issues receiving their letters, the mistake was discovered. By then, the damage had already been done.
The Bromford data breach incident is another example of how an incident can take place through a simple system error. These kinds of things really do happen all the time, and it can be incredibly worrying and distressing for the victims. We’ve dealt with NHS letters being sent to the wrong people due to letter template errors, and system errors like the Bromford one leading to data being handled incorrectly.
The UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has reportedly been alerted about the breach. Investigations are taking place to determine exactly how the incident happened.
There are many reasons as to why this Bromford data breach is a worry. One of the concerns actively raised was whether there was a particular reason as to why a tenant had moved. For example, had a tenant moved because they were engaged in a complicated divorce? Perhaps worse: what if they were escaping a former patient in an abuse case?
This is speculation, and we also understand that (so far) this isn’t the case. However, we can tell you from experience that this kind of scenario can occur. Right now, we’re representing victims who are claiming for data breach compensation having had their personal information disclosed to former abusive partners.
This kind of incident can turn a victim’s whole life upside down.
One simple system error can result in so many problems for people when it comes to a breach of personal and potentially sensitive information. Organisations must do better to ensure that their systems don’t put people at these kinds of risks.
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