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Public sector data leaks: advice for victims

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Public sector data leaks are one of the most common types when it comes to data breach compensation claims that we represent people for.

With this in mind, we wanted to make sure that victims of such data leaks know their rights. It can sometimes be confusing when you look at what you can do when it’s not a private organisation with insurance; but rest assured, the law is on your side.

As a firm of lawyers who have been specialising in data leak cases for a number of years, we can help and advise you. Thousands of people have asked us for our expert help, and our lawyers are involved with dozens of different data breach group and multi-party actions for a reason; many of which involve public sector data leaks.

Can you claim for public sector data leaks?

Victims of public sector data leaks can be eligible to make a claim for compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis.

A legal case like this can be the same as if it were against a private organisation, and the rights for victims to claim don’t differ just because it’s a public sector organisation. GDPR and the preceding Data Protection Act allows for victims of data leaks – no matter who against – to be entitled to claim damages.

A large proportion of the cases we take forward involve public sector incidents.

Common events

Public sector data leaks can be quite common. A large proportion of the compensation claims that we take forward are for medical data breaches, as one example.

And then we have the various cases that fall within the category of council data breach compensation claims. These can also include cases where information has been misused or exposed by social services, or CSA (Child Support Agency), as two examples.

Police and school breaches can also fall into this category as well.

These kinds of data leaks are often in the media, and with last year’s introduction of GDPR, there are big questions when it comes to the kinds of fines that could be imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Their provisional fine for the BA data breach is £183m, and their provisional one for the Marriott incident is £99m. Using those precedents, the pubic sector could be facing millions of pounds in fines for a number of data leaks, or where a serious large-scale incident takes place.

And this is on top of the  claims for compensation which are focused on making sure that the actual victims of leaks get the justice that they deserve as well. Money from fines isn’t usually supposed to be used for compensation at all.

Why public sector data leaks are so worrying

When you look at the kind of information that can be exposed, you can see how worrying public sector data leaks really are.

We’re talking about some of the most personal and sensitive data that there can be: from medical information about treatment and ailments, to domestic data, and financial information.

Victims who suffer as a result of data leaks from organisations like the NHS and councils can be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Data leak pay-outs can be significant when the information misused or exposed is sensitive like that which public sector bodies often hold.

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

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First published by Matthew on November 06, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Claims Council Healthcare Police Schools and tagged with | | | | | | |


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