A council tax data breach can have devastating consequences for the victims involved, especially given that councils hold a lot of personal and sensitive data about us.
Incidents of a council tax data breach are not unheard of and a wealth of information – from people’s personal details to salary information – can be exposed. Council data breaches alone can be quite common given they fall within the umbrella of the public sector, where data breaches can be common.
Although it’s never nice to be the victim of a data breach, victims of a council tax data breach are entitled to claim for data breach compensation.
What data can be exposed in a council tax data breach?
Data that’s at risk of exposure in a council tax data breach can include a number of very personal and sensitive pieces of information.
These can include:
- Full names;
- Contact information;
- Salary and work information;
- Combined income information;
- Benefits data;
- National Insurance numbers.
The P11D document alone could contain a wealth of information relating to the above, and it only takes one error by a member of staff, or an unsecure database, for a council tax data breach to occur.
How can a council tax data breach happen?
There are, unfortunately, a number of ways that a council tax data breach could take place.
Human error is one of the most common triggers of any kind of data breach, and this can stem from an employee simply sending out the wrong forms to the wrong person. It could happen by a postal error or an email error, or as we have seen in many other instances of data breaches, like the 56 Dean Street data breach of 2015, it could be a simple case of failing to mask email addresses in a mailshot.
Systems must be secure, and we know that cybercriminals specifically target public sector servers because they can be more vulnerable to attack. The reason they can be more vulnerable is because of funding issues that can mean public sector services are using outdated systems.
A classic example of how criminals exploit outdated systems was the massive WannaCry incident of last year.
What can I do if I am the victim of a council tax data breach?
If you’re unfortunate enough to become the victim of a council tax data breach, you may be entitled to claim for data breach compensation given the nature of the data that may have been exposed.
You can contact our team for further assistance and guidance as to whether we can help you claim for a council tax data breach.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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