An investigation carried out by the UK’s privacy watchdog has led to a Doctors Surgery in Hertfordshire being fined £40,000 for giving out personal medical information contrary to data laws.
The surgery, Regal Chambers, gave information to a woman’s estranged partner despite the practice being warned this might happen.
The information was formally requested by the ex-partner regarding the son he has with the woman. The data breach was discovered when the ex-partner filed medical reports in court against her.
The medical file that was handed over to the ex-partner contained information about the woman’s contact details, as well as those of an older child she has with another man, and information about her parents. The surgery had no system in place when it came to assessing what information should be handed over and what should be withheld. This lead to the entirety of the 62 page medical file being handed over.
Practice fined tens of thousands of pounds
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) decided to fine the practice £40,000. The Commissioner has the power to give out fines up to £500,000.
Since then, the practice has set up proper procedures and has worked with regulators to resolve the situation and prevent a repeat of the incident.
Steve Eckersley, head of Enforcement at the ICO, warned that: “Most organisations would expect to receive a much larger fine,” although if Regal Chambers pays their fine in full by 8th of September 2016, they can receive a 20% reduction off their total.
Making a claim
If you have been a victim of data breach then we can help. At the Data Leak Lawyers we are at the heart of big data breaches, with group actions and significant individual cases against the NHS.
If you have been a victim of a data leak we urge you to contact us. If we believe you have a claim we can help get you the compensation that you deserve.
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