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A High Court Judge has criticised a “serious and significant” Greenwich Council data breach in an adoption case that was reportedly badly managed.
We’re highly experienced in council compensation claims involving social services. Claims against local government authorities are one of the most common types of claims we represent people for. This story doesn’t come as a surprise to us, although the nature of the breach is incredibly serious and should never have happened in the first place.
This particular Greenwich Council data breach highlights the severity of this kind of breach given the nature of the personal and sensitive data that public organisations hold.
This “serious and incident” Greenwich Council data breach involves an adoption case and the social services. Staff handling the case have been heavily criticised for reportedly failing to properly assess and manage the case.
The breach occurred when staff sent legal documents to the birth family. Contained within the documents was identifying information about the adoptive family.
This kind of case isn’t new territory to us at all. We have ongoing claims involving social services where identifiable information has been sent to others in adoption and family matters.
This particular Greenwich Council data breach is an example of how bad the impact of a data breach can be for the victims.
Aside from the other issues referenced in this case in terms of how the matter was managed, the incident is a stark reminder about the importance of data security and data management for social services matters.
One wrong move could lead to serious repercussions for the victims. In fact, in serious cases, the safety of the victims can be jeopardised. We do represent victims who have had to move residences as a result of social services data breaches like this one.
Hopefully, in the wake of this serious Greenwich Council data breach, lessons will be learned. But, as we often say, it should never get to the point where lessons need to be learned in the first place. The law is clear, and everyone must comply with important data protection laws.
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