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Wolverhampton Council suffers huge data leak

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Wolverhampton council are reportedly at the centre of a huge data leak when almost 10,000 peoples private information was mistakenly emailed to the wrong person.

In November 2015, Wolverhampton council sought a report from its payroll department. Due to an error, 9,858 people’s personal data was sent to an external third party by accident.

Those affected by the mistake included 73 education establishments, although it is not clear if the data released was about Wolverhampton city’s schools and teachers. The data leaked was on a spreadsheet containing personal information, and it has not been said if those who have had their privacy rights breached have been informed.

Has anything been done?

Since the breach, the local authorities have been instructed to send all of its staff on regular refresher training for data protection. Training has also been asked to be monitored closely as it has been alleged that the council potentially does not have a reliable method when it comes to monitoring or completing refresher training for data protection.

An enforcement notice was served on the council two years ago in 2014 where they had 50 days to re-train their staff by sending them on refresher courses. The council sent 5,785 staff members and 60 councillors on a retraining course within the 50 days as a result of the enforcement.

While the commissioner was satisfied that all staff and councillors were sent on the training, it still had concerns over the data controller’s failure to have an effective system that monitors and implements refresher training.

While the City of Wolverhampton claims it takes its responsibilities to comply with the Data Protection Act very seriously, continuous reported blunders appear to suggest otherwise.

We should be able to trust our governments and councils with our data – especially for the amount of information we hand over to them. Data breaches in local governments can be a major concern for those affected. One of the most frustrating things about local government data leaks is that we are required to share so much of our personal information with them by law. With cases like the Wolverhampton council data leak, we will likely see people lose more faith in their local council handling our data securely.

Can I claim?

If you have been the victim of a data breach caused by local government then you could be entitled to compensation. Hundreds of thousands of pounds can be claimed in compensation if you have been the victim of a data breach, so we urge you to get in contact for free and friendly advice about claiming.

We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Editor on August 05, 2016
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