Modern governance and the delivery of public services require sharing a wide range of our sensitive information. But reliance on unsecured legacy software and a lack of preparation for dealing with cyber-attacks has made the sector vulnerable.
As well as being lucrative to hackers, the public sector is also struggling to train its staff and put robust data management practices in place. So, human error remains the leading cause of breaches, and people across the country are left paying the price.
There are many different types of public sector data breaches to watch out for, including:
Local Councils. Almost 100 million cyber-attacks hit Britain’s local authorities in just five years. But it is human error rather than hackers that are the leading cause of breaches in the sector.
Social Services. Social Services safeguard and promote vulnerable children. As such, it deals with sensitive personal and personal data. If this information is breached, the consequences can be disruptive and upsetting.
Housing Associations. The number of incidents of data breaches is increasing across the housing association sector.
Health & Emergency Services. The NHS and the police handle a lot of sensitive personal data. So it is vital that this is robustly protected, and that officers, medical staff, and suppliers know how to work with this information securely. However, all too often, this is not happening.
Schools. A failure to invest in adequate staff data protection training means that data privacy violations are happening all too often in our local authority-run schools.
Keller Lenkner UK has gained an enviable reputation in data breach law. And, with a team of data breach experts led by Kingsley Hayes – arguably the UK’s foremost data breach solicitor – and considerable expertise in this field, it’s easy to see why. Here are just some examples of the public sector cases our data protection lawyers have dealt with…
Nichola contacted social services to make an application for child support from her ex-partner. She was unequivocal that her address must remain confidential as there was a history of abuse.
Despite this, social services disclosed Nichola’s address to her ex, leading to considerable upset, fear, and stress.
We are helping Nichola to claim compensation following this grave data breach.
Mary & Ben adopted Sarah when she was a baby. They planned to tell Sarah about her adoption when she was older. However, her local authority-run school sent documents referencing Sarah’s adoption to the wrong address. The information ended up with a neighbour who opened and read the documents before sharing Sarah’s adoption status with other people in the local community.
Sarah subsequently found out that she was adopted, leading to considerable distress for her and her family.
We are helping Mary and Ben to claim compensation for this shocking privacy violation.
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.
In some cases, you won’t be the only person to experience a data breach. In these instances, it might be worth joining a group action. Our current public sector data breach actions include:
In August 2019, over 750 annual benefit statements were sent to the wrong postal addresses. These statements were for police officers of Sussex Police.
Equiniti, a company that provides support, communications and technology platforms to help manage company pensions, was responsible for distributing these statements.
If you are a professional sportsman or sportswoman, your data could be being used illegally. And you could be losing money as a result. Protecting the rights of athletes, if your personal information has been used in ways you did not agree to, we can help you get compensation.
We have discovered that the DVLA is passing the names and addresses of registered vehicle owners to private parking companies to enable them to issue parking fines.
Data breach violations are rarely out of the news. And should your personal information be compromised in a data protection failure, it is vital that you understand the options available to you
The DVLA data breach does not relate to one particular privacy violation but many. Indeed, the DVLA has reported almost 200 breach notifications to the UK’s data protection regulator – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – over the past year. That’s according to a recent Freedom of Information request. The request was made by Apricorn, a secure storage vendor in a bid to assess the effectiveness of data security measures in the public sector.
When news of this breach broke, the Police Federation told victims of this data breach that they did not have a claim. At Keller Lenkner, we disagreed with the assessment and started a test case against Equiniti.
While each case is judged on its own merits, there are some things we would typically look for when it comes to when claiming compensation following a data breach, cybercrime or other GDPR violation:
With stolen data, cybercriminals can make purchases using your bank and credit cards, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing online accounts.
GDPR failures, cybercrime and data breaches can have a significant impact on you, both mentally and physically. They can cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress and other psychological conditions.