New Year Honours data breach: Cabinet Office fined £500,000
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New Year Honours data breach: Cabinet Office fined £500,000

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The Cabinet Office has been issued with a penalty in the sum of £500,000 for the 2020 New Year Honours data breach, an incident that we have resolved legal action for.

The fine has been issued by the UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is intended to act as a punishment for what has happened. Such penalties can also act as a deterrent against future events.

We are pleased to see that regulatory action has now concluded. The fine is a separate matter to private legal action that victims of the data leak can be entitled to pursue. We have already resolved legal action that we have taken, having been instructed to act in the wake of the event, and this fine further cements that victims could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.

The New Year Honours data breach fine

The ICO has published the details of the fine it has issued to the Cabinet Office over the New Year Honours data breach that arose in 2020. With more than 1,000 people’s private addresses accidentally leaked online when names of recipients were published, this was a serious incident. The ICO confirmed that the leaked data was accessible online for over two hours and had been accessed 3,872 times before the error was rectified.

The Cabinet Office has been issued with a fine in the sum of £500,000, and Director of Investigations Steve Eckersley had this to say:

“When data breaches happen, they have real life consequences. In this case, more than 1,000 people were affected. At a time when they should have been celebrating and enjoying the announcement of their honour, they were faced with the distress of their personal details being exposed.

“The Cabinet Office’s complacency and failure to mitigate the risk of a data breach meant that hundreds of people were potentially exposed to the risk of identity fraud and threats to their personal safety.

“The fine issued today sends a message to other organisations that looking after people’s information safely, as well as regularly checking that appropriate measures are in place, must be at the top of their agenda.”

Legal action for compensation

Anyone who has been affected by the New Year Honours data breach is still in time (as of the date this article was published) to initiate a claim for data leak compensation. We have already won compensation having been asked to initiate legal action, and we may be able to help you if you have yet to pursue a case.

The fine is separate to any private compensation action that victims of the data leak could be entitled to pursue. Victims affected by the data breach could be entitled to claim compensation for any understandable distress that has been caused arising from the loss of control of personal information. You do not need to have lost any money to make a claim, and we are able to represent eligible claimants affected by the New Year Honours data breach on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Please do not hesitate to contact the team now for free, no-obligation advice.

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We are Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers. We are leading specialists in the area of privacy compensation claims, representing thousands of people for individual legal cases and in over 50 group and multi-party actions.

We were one of the first law firms in England and Wales to take privacy cases forward, way back in 2014. We have worked (and continue to work on) some of the most infamous data breach actions, from the 2015 TalkTalk cyberattack and 56 Dean Street Clinic leak, to the major Equifax hack of 2017 and the huge British Airways cyberattack of 2018. To date, we have recovered over £1m in damages alone for mostly individual data cases.

For eligible clients, we are proud to offer No Win, No Fee legal representation as part of our ongoing commitment to access to justice. The team is happy to offer free, no-obligation advice here now.

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You can call our claims team free from a landline or mobile on 0800 634 7575 or click on the link below to create a call back with one of our expert Data Claims team.Information on how we handle your data is available in our Privacy Policy.

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