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Department for Work and Pensions data breach impacts 6,000 over 2 years

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Over 6,000 people have reportedly been affected by the latest Department for Work and Pensions data breach, with sensitive information leaked in error.

The DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) suffered a serious data breach after publishing the sensitive details of over 6,000 individuals online for over two years. It is understood that the data was only taken down this Monday and formal investigations into the data breach have been launched.

If you have been affected by the Department for Work and Pensions data breach, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim for the loss of control of your personal information. Depending on what data of yours has been leaked, we may be able to assist you.

More about the Department for Work and Pensions data breach

The Department for Work and Pensions data breach is reported to have involved 6,441 people’s personal data being exposed online. The individuals affected are understood to be people applying for disability benefit (PIP) and had information relating to their claims exposed for over two years.

The data for the over 6,000 individuals was reportedly listed online in 2018 by the DWP and was only taken down on Monday. The data was potentially made publicly available for a prolonged amount of time and could, in theory, have been accessed multiple times over the years it was available. This could mean that there are risks for people being targeted in the event that their identities can be confirmed.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been informed and is currently investigating the breach. A spokeswoman for the ICO said:

People have the right to expect that organisations will handle their personal information securely and responsibly’.

Data involved in the ‘serious’ breach of data protection

It has been revealed in the media that 6,441 individual’s National Insurance Numbers were made available online in the data breach. The National Insurance numbers are understood to have appeared directly next to payments for PIP assessments and ‘factual reports’.

Whilst no names or addresses were published in the online reports, the information revealed in the Department for Work and Pensions data breach is considered to be serious. National Insurance numbers can be targeted to be used for identity theft, and disability information being exposed can leave victims vulnerable to crime as well as the fact that their personal and sensitive information has been exposed.

Has your data been affected?

If you are one of the victims of the Department of Work and Pensions breach, you should be informed. You are entitled to know exactly what information of yours has been exposed as well.

Although it appears that names and addresses have not been exposed, victims could still be eligible to claim data breach compensation. If it is found that information about you has been exposed and/or misused, the law could entitle you to claim for the loss of control of your personal information. It can often be the case when it comes to incredibly personal and sensitive information the data breach compensation amounts can be substantial. We can assess potential claims on a case-by-case basis to confirm if we are able to offer No Win, No Fee assistance.

Your Lawyers are leading specialists in the niche area of data breach compensation law and have been at the forefront of data breach justice since 2014. For free and no-obligation advice, please do not hesitate to contact the team here now.

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

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