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The act of unlawfully accessing personal data can land the offender in a lot of trouble, and it can pave the way for the victims to make a claim for data breach compensation.
Your rights are enshrined in law, and if your rights to information privacy are ever breached, you can be entitled to take legal action. In today’s digital age where information access and sharing are achievable at the click of a button, there’s a wealth of data for millions of people that can be accessed by many individuals.
But people can only access and process information where they’re authorised to do so and have a legitimate reason to do so. Any access of personal data that isn’t done so in accordance with important data legislation can be unlawful. We can represent victims who wish to take a case forward on a No Win, No Fee basis.
If someone has found to have been unlawfully accessing personal data that belongs to you, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Your information must be stored and processed fairly, and if someone has been accessing and / or sharing your data without any authority or reason to do so, this can be distressing.
Whether it’s the distress over the fact that someone has accessed your information, or the distress caused by the loss of control of your personal information that has been shared, you could be entitled to take legal action.
In many cases where people have been unlawfully accessing personal data, the offender tends to know the victim(s).
There have been many cases where NHS staff have snooped on the records of partners, former partners, friends, neighbours, colleagues and so on. Medical data breach compensation claims in particular can be severe as the information that has been unlawfully accessed is often personal and sensitive.
There have been incidents where police employees have accessed databases for information as well. Data breach compensation amounts can be high in these kinds of cases where the loss of control over your personal data is particularly distressing.
A recent example of ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) enforcement action that stemmed from an employee caught unlawfully accessing personal data is the Stockport Homes Limited case involving Wendy Masterson.
Following an audit by her employer, the former customer services officer was found to have unlawfully accessed personal data dozens of times without any authority to do so. The incidents took place in 2017 and involved her accessing anti-social behaviour cases on Stockport Home’s case management system.
She pleaded guilty to unlawfully accessing personal data and has been ordered to pay fines and costs in excess of £600.00.
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