Data Breaches are becoming a very common area of law, which is continuing to develop and adapt with new technologies.
A Data Breach is when personal and private information is exposed to third parties without consent; the information can be viewed and transmitted in many formats.
The claims one can make are as follows:
- Identity theft to commit crimes such as credit card fraud
- Purposely lose important data
- Third party gains access to personal information without consent
- Company data leaks
- Personal information used for journalism purposes without consent
The above points highlight the areas and differences a Data Breach can occur. Data Breaches can have many detrimental effects to an individual, such as mental distress, safety concerns and financial losses.
By law, the company in question must make those affected by the data breach aware of such incident. The ICO (Information Commissioners Office) is the independent regulatory office, who oversee the upholding of information rights in the interest if the public; they cover: the data protection act, freedom of information act and privacy and electronic regulations. All data breaches must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.
The media has highlighted those large companies that have been subject to committing Data Breaches, such as:
- Virgin Media
- Easy Jet
- Marriott Hotel
- British Airways
- Social Housing Associations
- 118 Money and LOQBOX to name just a few.
One will have most commonly received an email by one of the above companies; which would have highlighted the breach in question, followed by an apology and advice that everything was being taken care of from their end.
For example, Virgin Media exposed personal contact details of over 900k customers in April 2019, highlighting this to those in question on 5th March 2020. Due to such a large company being a trusted and renowned business; we automatically put our faith in those words supplied in the email, assuring us everything is under control. But why should we put so much trust into these large companies, who allow such breaches to occur?
The mass of clients and information such companies withhold, can lead to large losses if such information was or in the majority of cases have been exposed. The marketing tactics that lure one’s custom are multi-million-pound expenditures; but the security and access of one’s personal information should now play a huge part in securing clients.
As technology progressively continues to smarten, so should the management of client’s personal data, to prevent Data Breaches being able to occur. This needs to be the forefront of a client’s decision when choosing which company, they will allow to consume their personal information.
Regardless on the size of the business, the length of time you have been a serving client and the monetary value which may have been the deciding factor to choose this company in question; Data Protection necessities are essential for 21st century living. This should not be overlooked due to their status value.
Be vigilant when you receive email updates, and query areas that may not seem to comply with Data Protection laws. No matter how small the breach may seem or made out to be, you still have a right to question this and to seek advice to prevent further breaches occurring to your personal information.
We take Data Breaches very seriously here at High Street Solicitors; the exposure of an email address, Date of Birth and a telephone number can lead to subsequent breaches that can escalate and cause much distress as highlighted above. More serious breaches such as financial information, personal health details and one’s home address; are particular areas that can cause more harm due to such Data leaks.
If you do think that a company or organisation has breached personal information of yourself, family or friend and require advice or guidance on how you can prevent further breaches; we can assure that we can do all of this and aim for compensation due to the losses one may incur.
Click here to make a Data Breach inquiry.