We focus on the latest news surrounding data breaches, leaks and hacks plus daily internet security articles.
Third-party outsourcing can lead to a council data protection breach, and as the old saying goes, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” – which means councils and local authorities are only as good as the private organisations they outsource work to.
This is important, because public sector data breaches are an ongoing problem, and councils can be a prime target for cyber-criminals as well as being vulnerable to leaks and breaches from inadequate procedures and policies.
With councils outsourcing work for the private sector a lot, there is understandable cause for concern.
There are allegations of a St Helens council data breach involving recently resigned council leader, Barrie Grunewald.
Any council data protection breach can be serious and can pave the way for legal cases for victims of such a breach; especially when it comes to the nature of the data councils hold. This incident, however, is a little unclear in terms of exactly what has happened.
Police are said to be investigating the alleged data breach which is thought to involve images from a group WhatsApp conversation between St Helens politicians which were allegedly obtained from a mobile phone and subsequently distributed. Mr Grunewald has said that the allegations are “spurious”, and police investigations remain ongoing.
Council data breaches and the GDPR that’s coming into force this month is a key topic for discussion. With councils and other public sector authorities often experiencing high levels of data breaches and data leaks, it’s imperative that enough attention is paid to the new regulations that could see organisations fined a heck of a lot more money for breaching data laws.
We take on and represent a lot of people for council data breaches, so we know how often they happen, and we know how bad they can be for the victims. Given the nature of the data that councils hold, any breach or leak can often be very serious for the victims who are entitled to claim for data protection breach compensation.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council has been fined £120,000 for an indeliberate data breach because the personal details of empty property owners in their constituency was published, contrary to data protection laws.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has called it a “serious contravention” which has led to the huge fine being issued of £120,000.
According to the ICO reports, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request had been made in relation to the Grenfell Tower incident as part of research into social inequality, and it was this request that led to the accidental disclosure.
Council data protection breaches are a common problem, so if you have been the victim of a breach or leak caused by your local council, you’re one of many.
You have rights to be able to claim for data breach compensation, whether the council has directly breached data laws, or where a local authority outsourced company has breached the law instead.
We advise and represent a lot of people for council data leaks and data breaches because the root problems as to why they are so common have yet to be resolved.
There is a suggestion that councils and local authority agencies are concentrating too heavily on data collection as opposed to data security. We know councils need a lot of private and sensitive information for a number of legitimate reasons, so why aren’t they protecting it properly?
Recent studies have exposed startling statistics: from one in four councils suffering security breaches in the last five years, to more than 75% of councils failing to provide mandatory data protection training.
Councils are collecting the data, so why aren’t they securing it?
According to data gleaned from a Freedom of Information request, as reported by Wigan Today, there have been a concerning number of data breaches involving Wigan Council where information of a confidential, sensitive, or protected nature has been accessed or disclosed “in an unauthorised fashion”.
Councils and private companies who local authority agencies outsource work to are high on the list when it comes to data protection breaches, and we advise and represent a large number of people claiming for data protection compensation as a result of a council data breach.
Unfortunately, this news does not come as a surprise to us.
Experts have looked in to the differences between councils and local authority services and compared the quality of the cybersecurity and their data protection procedures and protocols. One worrying trend is the fact that there are some huge differences between different councils when it comes to practically all aspects of data security.
This issue means that, in reality, the quality of data protection and cybersecurity can be somewhat of a postcode lottery. There is no single or uniform approach, which is a really worrying aspect.
According to information from a report by privacy advocates Big Brother Watch, despite assurances that local government authorities are taking data protection seriously, more than a quarter of UK councils have had systems breached in the last five years.
The report also found that the majority of the successful breaches were caused by the simple and well-known phishing method, pointing to staff as the “weakest link” in terms of cybersecurity and data defence.
The report also references the fact that three-quarters of councils reportedly do not provide mandatory cyber-security training, with 16% not providing any at all.
Data protection breaches committed by councils / local authorities – or the companies they outsource work to – can be unfortunately common. We advise and represent a large volume of people who have been the victim of a data breach caused by their local council, so we understand how bad they can be.
The serious council data protection breaches can cause a lot of problems for the victims, and given the nature of data that local authorities often hold – these type of breaches can be very sensitive indeed.
EasyJet admits data of nine million hacked
British Airways data breach: How to claim up to £6,000 compensation
Are you owed £5,000 for the Virgin Media data breach?
Virgin Media faces £4.5 BILLION in compensation payouts
BA customers given final deadline to claim compensation for data breach
Shoppers slam Morrisons after loyalty points stolen
Half a million customers can sue BA over huge data breach
Lawyers accuse BA of 'swerving responsibility' for data breach
The biggest data breaches of 2020
Fill out our quick call back form below and we'll contact you when you're ready to talk to us.