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There has been news of a West Berkshire Council data leak that appears to be another incident of accidental disclosure by email.
According to Newbury News, an investigation into the data breach has been launched, with one person who was a victim of the incident said to be “shocked” at what has happened.
A huge number of the individual cases that we take forward are for council data breach compensation claims. They can be worryingly common, and the impact for victims can be severe given that local government authorities often hold a great deal of personal and sensitive information about a lot of people.
The West Berkshire Council data leak incident is understood to be another case of an email being sent to recipients where the personal information of recipients was visible to all the other recipients.
Approximately 30 people are said to have received the email.
This kind of indecent usually occurs when an email is sent to multiple recipients without using the “BCC” function. It’s understood that at least one person replied to the chain as well.
The contents of the email related to an assisted housing bid.
In response to the West Berkshire Council data leak incident, a council spokesperson said:
“The housing service escalated the issue to the council’s data protection officer as soon as it was discovered, as per the council’s policy.”
“The incident will be the subject of internal investigation.”
This isn’t the first time this kind of data leak has happened. In fact, it can be incredibly common, even though the nature of this type of breach is easily avoidable. There are plenty of platforms that can be used for sending emails to multiple people without having to risk a data leak by doing it manually.
Incidents like the West Berkshire leak can be severe for the victims. Although in this case it appears that the damage was minimal, when an email like this is sent and includes personal and sensitive information, the impact for the victims can be substantial.
You only need to look at the infamous 56 Dean Street Clinic leak which we’re fighting for justice in as one of the primary examples of just how bad these leaks can be.
Data leak compensation amounts reflect the severity of the impact for the victims. With councils and local authorities holding so much information about so many people, it only takes one little avoidable mistake to trigger a serious data breach incident.
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