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While large-scale data breaches are often the ones that hit the headlines, the reported Sheffield Council data breaches represent an example of how individual data breaches can build up and amount to significant information being exposed.
Over the course of 2019 and 2020, Sheffield City Council is understood to have recorded a total of 231 incidents, 92 of which were breaches involving personal data.
At the Your Lawyers – T/A the Data Leak Lawyers – we have been representing clients in privacy cases since 2014 as a leading firm of data breach compensation lawyers. We believe that councils must be held accountable for any inadequacies when it comes to data protection, so we are here to help you with council data breach compensation claims now.
On the face of it, many of the Sheffield Council data breaches may seem like innocuous errors, as much of the individual breaches reportedly involved council employees mistakenly sending emails or letters to the incorrect recipient. Alone, such errors are often perceived as one-off or minor mistakes, but together, they could demonstrate a wider lack of awareness and control regarding the importance of data protection.
Another more large-scale breach is understood to have been caused by a lack of security in the council’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition system. This subsequently allowed users to browse the database without a password, with as many as 8.6 million records of vehicle journeys exposed as a result.
As local government authorities, our councils have access to many different types of people’s information. Besides the typical contact details, they also hold even more sensitive information relating to details such as ethnicity, health conditions and employment status. There is also financial information used for taking payments as well.
As such, when a council data breach does happen, the risks when it comes to personal privacy and safety can be substantial.
Social Services usually fall under the jurisdiction of local councils, and they are often responsible for highly personal information. When a data breach occurred at Bristol City Council, the names of children with disabilities and special educational needs were mistakenly sent out in a mass email.
Such breaches, distressing as they are for the victims, can drastically reduce trust in local government authorities, meaning that the damage to their reputations can be severe. With other data breaches occurring at organisations including Blackpool City Council, Gloucestershire Council, and East Devon Council just over the course of 2020, the Sheffield City Council data breaches are far from being isolated occurrences. It seems like more wide-ranging action is needed to improve council data protection.
If you have been the victim of one or more of the Sheffield City Council data breaches, or any council breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation now.
In data breach claims, you could be eligible to claim General Damages to compensate you for any distress and suffering caused, and also for Special Damages if you have suffered financial losses and expenses as a result of having your information leaked.
At the Data Leak Lawyers, we help our clients through every step of the claim process. If you would like advice on your potential to claim, please do not hesitate to contact us here.
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