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Warnings have been issued over a 2017 Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council data breach incident that was said to have been particularly sensitive.
The warnings have come from both the authority itself as well as the UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The incident took place before the introduction of last year’s vital GDPR. The incident still amounted to a serious data protection breach and could have led to criminal prosecutions and huge fines faced by the council.
The Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council data breach incident occurred on 8th December 2017. An email about a member of staff was reportedly disclosed on to some 62 other people. The disclosure involved members of the council, who have reportedly received warning letters from the ICO.
The information disclosed was said to be “sensitive personal data” that had “serious detrimental effects for the data subject”. This is often the case with council data breach compensation claims in general.
The recipients of the data were reportedly asked to delete the email and to not distribute the information or discuss the information at all. Although we would hope that this should help to contain the breach, you can never be sure how far exposed data can go. When we live in an age of continual threats from hacks and phishing, people’s accounts may already be compromised, and leaked data could easily end up out of containment.
The Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council data breach didn’t prompt any enforcement action from the ICO. It did, however, lead to warnings issued to those responsible.
Minutes of an authority meeting reportedly said that:
“This was a very serious and highly regrettable occurrence, which could have had very far reaching and expensive consequences for the council and for those involved. It must not happen again and it is the responsibility of all us to ensure that it does not.”
In the case of the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council data breach, the big takeaway is the reported impact on the victim. Council data breach compensation claims are some of the more common legal actions we run. These kinds of breaches are happening all the time, and with local authorities holding such personal and sensitive data about potentially millions of people, any breach or leak can be serious.
Some of the most severe individual claims we are fighting for justice in are related to council data breaches. The importance of data protection cannot be understated when it comes to local authorities and the agencies who operate on their behalf.
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