Capita Disability Assessor in serious breach of Data Protection Act
"Channel 4's Dispatches uncovered a serious breach of the Data Protection Act when an assessor, outsourced from Capita, was found to be taking photos of information for disability payment applications."
The assessor was caught taking photos of his computer screen so he could prove the applications he had worked on. In fact, he was happy to admit it, telling the undercover reporter:
"Once they've attended, take a picture. If you come to your payday and you haven't got all your assessment reports, how can you prove you've done them?"
But taking photos of disability benefits applications is a very serious breach of the Data Protection Act. The nature of the information contained in the applications is incontrovertibly highly confidential and extremely sensitive.
Such blatant breaches of this nature are indefensible.
"Wrong and Unacceptable"
Capita, described as an international business process outsourcing and professional services company, gained the contracts for assessment for the DWP in 2013. They employed the assessor at the centre of the investigation, who was paid on a 'per application' basis, earning anywhere between £80 to £300 per application, and he even claimed he earned £20,000 monthly by "flying through them" - and to make sure he was paid every penny of the money he was due from getting through applications, he reportedly took photos of his computer screen as proof.
The assessor was witnessed by the undercover reporter taking photos of appointments on the screen; a serious breach that can be punishable with fines of up to £500,000.
A spokesperson for Capita has confirmed that the assessor will no longer be working for Capita, and on the subject of the Data Protection breach, they said:
"All employees are trained and expected to follow detailed processes regarding the handling and protection of data. This assessor's reported actions are clearly wrong and unacceptable. We will take appropriate action against any breaches of processes."
Action MUST be taken
Capita has a responsibility to contact the victims of this breach. Anyone whose information has been photographed illegally can be eligible to claim compensation under the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.
We act for individuals in both high profile data breaches affecting thousands of victims, as well as for individuals taking action for singular cases. The breach uncovered in this incident is like many others we have investigated. Ultimately this should never have happened and it's hard to believe that the assessor was unaware that their actions were in serious contravention of the Data Protection Act 1988.
Our Legal Team had this to say:
"The actions of the assessor are unforgivable and in breach of the most basic of data protection rules. We're surprised it has taken a Dispatches investigation to uncover this; if he was showing images he had taken from his computer to superiors, why were they not stopping him there and then?
It seems like this has been allowed to escalate without anyone picking up on just how serious this is. Victim's information has been grossly mishandled and the assessor has risked the safety of their privacy and confidentiality."
Request a call back from our team
Fill out our quick call back form below and we'll contact you when you're ready to talk to us. All fields marked with a * are required.
Latest Blogs from The Data Leak Lawyers
"On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of risks to consumers, this is a 10" - says fraud analyst, Avivah Litan on the Equifax data h...Nov 17, 2017
Equifax have faced heavy criticism for a series of failings around the data breach that exposed over 145 million people's per...Nov 16, 2017
A 'nosy' midwife has been sacked by the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust after she was discovered ...Nov 15, 2017
Confidential and secretive information for Heathrow Airport was reportedly found on a USB device some 13 miles from the site ...Nov 14, 2017
Australian appliance-rental company, Amazing Rentals, are in trouble with Australian authorities yet again for behaviour that...Nov 13, 2017
Security experts warn that all Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to hacking after a Belgian researcher managed to break through a...Nov 10, 2017
Head of policy and engagement at the Information Commissioner's Office, Jo Pedder, points to useful guidance on the new EU Ge...Nov 09, 2017