Following a breach of Guntrader.uk, a website that leads in buying and selling of guns in the UK, it is understood that thousands of customers have had their names and addresses exposed. As a result of the Guntrader data breach, those who used the site may have reportedly had their personal information posted to the dark web.
The breach is particularly concerning given the safety risks of making the identities and potential whereabouts of gun owners known to potential criminals. As investigations continue, it is not yet clear how the data theft was allowed to occur. However, if it is found that Guntrader bears responsibility for the information exposure, it could be held liable for a breach of data protection law.
If you have been affected by the Guntrader data breach, we recommend that you come forward to seek legal advice, as there may be grounds for a compensation claim. It is always distressing to learn that your private information could be circulating in the public domain, so it is vital that any responsible parties are held accountable for the harm caused.
According to recent data analysis by Redscan, Trusts have begun to deal with and address NHS cyber-skills shortages in the past two years, although there is still a lot of ground to cover to tackle the problem of data breaches within the health service. In 2018, it was reportedly revealed by Redscan that around a quarter of NHS Trusts did not have security professionals, whereas now, the figure has dropped to 15% of Trusts.
Despite an average decline in the number of NHS data breaches reported to the ICO, it is still clear that personal information is still not being granted the full security it deserves. In our view, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure all NHS Trusts have the appropriate cybersecurity and data protection breaches needed to keep data safe.
We have represented many clients for a number of NHS data breach cases over several years, so we have seen just how devastating the effects can be when sensitive medical information is compromised. In accordance with UK data protection law, every citizen has a right to strong data protection, which is why we can help victims of data breaches to assert their rights by making compensation claims.
A former Wiltshire Council social worker has reportedly been taken to court over a “serious breach of trust”, having been found to have accessed sensitive information without reason or authorisation.
As a social worker, the individual in question was granted certain data access privileges. It has been reported by the Gazette and Herald that she abused her position in a way that could have put the privacy and safety of vulnerable people at risk.
Social workers naturally have a high level of trust invested in them, so it is understandable that there is a no-tolerance policy for any employees who breach this trust. Social services data breaches like this can have severe consequences for those affected, particularly where vulnerable minors are involved, as their personal details often must be kept under highly restricted access in order to protect them from abusive adults. We represent people for these kinds of cases quite a lot. As such, it is essential that anyone who threatens to compromise the need for data protection is punished accordingly.
It has recently been confirmed that a former Hampshire police officer has been reportedly banned from ever entering the police service again after it was found that he accessed private records without a valid policing reason. The Special Constable in question is understood to have resigned from his position before superiors could dismiss him for his data snooping.
While police officers are granted information access to records and details that are needed for casework, they are not authorised to view or use information outside of their policing workload without any good reason. Campbell violated his professional duty by accessing information without a legitimate reason, reportedly only browsing the records due to “curiosity”.
Regardless of the motives of the Hampshire police officer, there is no excuse for breaching data protection law. We trust the police service to maintain strict control over personal information, so it is important that any officers who breach the duty they owe to the public are held accountable for their actions.
A recent postbox theft at a GP surgery in Norwich has demonstrated the sometimes unexpected forms that data crime can come in. In late May, Hellesdon Medical Practice is understood to have informed its patients that a postbox had been stolen by an unknown person, causing a severe data breach due to the private correspondence it contained.
Data security incidents like this may be relatively small in scale compared to the huge cyberattacks affecting large companies in the digital age, but they still have the potential to severely impact the victims. The Hellesdon Medical Practice data breach also raises questions about how we can ensure the security of documents sent in the post, particularly when we don’t have the benefit of firewalls and encryption, as we often do in digital data transfer.
Any data exposure incidents involving physical records should be treated with the seriousness they deserve, as they can still constitute a breach of data protection law. Where a third-party data controller fails to effectively protect your information, you could be eligible to claim compensation for the harm caused.
Around two years ago, the Police Federation of England and Wales was hit by a cyberattack, and we began taking claims forward soon after the data breach incident occurred. Although it was initially believed that no personal information affected, it was nevertheless a possibility that employee data may have been exposed to unauthorised access.
The case against the Police Federation is one of many data breach group actions we are pursuing. As leading specialists in data breach claims, we are fighting for justice in a number of high-profile actions, including those against Equifax, Virgin Media and British Airways.
As with all our data breach group actions, we are offering No Win, No Fee representation to eligible victims of the Police Federation data breach. You can contact us today if you are considering starting a claim.
We have been approached for help following the Accident Exchange – AX data breach – which is understood to have occurred earlier this year in January. The company is said to have suffered a cyberattack which led to the exposure of client information, with an external third-party accessing the company’s systems.
Those affected by the breach have recently been notified by AX (formerly Accident Exchange) that their personal information might have been affected, though it is still unclear exactly what details may have been exposed in all cases.
We have already begun taking on claims for those affected, who could be in line to receive compensation for the exposure of their private data. All companies are legally obliged to protect the data in their possession and, when they fail to do so, they can be liable to pay damages for a breach of data protection law.
NHS CCTV cameras have reportedly been embroiled in a hack affecting security footage across the globe, after security company Verkada is understood to have been breached by hackers. It is said that live streams for as many as 150,000 Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras may have been viewed by unauthorised users.
Serving organisations include prisons, general businesses, schools and even psychiatric hospitals. The breach of Verkada’s cameras may have exposed the identities of many people working in, living in, or visiting affected institutions.
It is unclear exactly which feeds hackers may have viewed and what they gleaned from the footage, but it is nevertheless worrying to learn that a security firm has been subjected to such a wide-reaching breach. There is currently no evidence that any NHS camera feeds were viewed by hackers, but Verkada lists the NHS as one of its clients on the company website. Hackers have also claimed that they have been able to access the cameras of any of the affected organisations.
Recent coverage has revealed that action taken by bank employees and police prevented some £45m of fraud in 2020, saving customers from the loss of an average of almost £6,000 each. The figure is a testament to the success of the Banking Protocol scheme that encourages banks and the police to work together to protect consumers.
However, the huge £45m sum is also a sign of the scale of fraud in the UK. As leading, specialists in data protection law, we believe that the link between data breaches and fraud is a problem that needs to be addressed. When a third-party organisation fails to protect your personal information, it may be leaked into the hands of cybercriminals, who may attempt to steal from you via various kinds of manipulative scams.
We believe that it is essential that all data controllers are held to account when they fail to observe their legal duties. We have helped thousands of consumers to recover the compensation that they deserve, so we encourage any data breach victims to come forward for free, no-obligation advice on their potential claims.
In June 2018, the Shurgard data breach came to our attention, and we began to advise those affected by the incident. It was found that an internal error had led to personal information about employees being mistakenly shared, allegedly with all employees in the company.
It may seem that internal company data breaches are not as severe as those that provoke widespread public data exposure but, in fact, incidents such as these can be highly serious for those affected. Data protection errors must be avoided in all circumstances, as even the most basic of mistakes can have harmful implications.
All businesses and organisations in possession of personal data have a legal obligation to protect this information to the best of their abilities. Where they fail to meet this obligation, it can constitute a breach of data protection law. Those affected by the Shurgard data breach, or any other incident like this, may have a right to recover compensation for a data breach incident. To hear more about your potential right to claim, contact our specialist data breach team for free, no-obligation advice.