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The New Year’s Honours List is published at the end of every year to recognise the achievements of some of the most successful and influential people in our country. As such, the New Year’s Honours data breach at the end of 2019 was a significant blot on this celebratory event.
In an accidental leak, the addresses of over 1,000 award recipients were published online.
As the turn into 2021 marked just over a year since the leak occurred, we wish to notify victims that they still have a right to claim compensation. We are already taking legal action following the leak, as all organisations must be held accountable for failures to protect private data. Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – is here to help any victims of data breaches at all times.
The mistake occurred when the list of honours recipients was published online with the unintentional inclusion of the recipients’ addresses.
The key detail of the data breach was that the UK government itself is ultimately responsible for the error. This factor is made even more damning because the government had brought the new Data Protection Act 2018 (the GDPR) into law only the year before. It is concerning that the government has fallen foul of its own legislation by releasing such private information into the public domain in error.
Among the addresses were those of high-profile celebrities, and there were also public services officials on the list too, such as senior police and counter-terrorism officers.
Regardless of the level of fame, all victims of the New Year’s Honours data breach had their privacy and personal safety undermined. The documents were reportedly visible for around an hour on a downloadable document, providing more than enough time for people to store this information on their mobile devices or computer hard drives.
In the hands of the wrong person, the addresses could have provided dangerous access to the victims’ personal lives.
In accordance with the GDPR, the Cabinet Office immediately reported the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the organisation responsible for data protection law. We would hope that the level of exposure and severe reputational consequences would be enough to ensure that they are never responsible for such an incident again.
The New Year’s Honours data breach is proof that anyone can become the victim of a devastating data leak, regardless of their status in society. Equally, carelessness and disregard for data protection law can even come from the highest authority in the country.
At Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – we work hard to empower victims of data breaches across all sorts of cases, whether the leak occurred at a government authority, a business, or a healthcare provider.
We have many years of experience in using data protection law to win compensation for those affected by data leaks. If you were a victim of the New Year’s Honours data breach, or any similar leak, do not hesitate to contact us to receive free, no-obligation advice on your right to claim.
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