Northamptonshire Woman Speaks Out On ‘Devastating’ Data Ordeal After Employer ‘Loses’ Her Passport On Two Separate Occasions
A Northamptonshire woman who suffered with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues after her employer twice misplaced copies of her passport has spoken out on the “devastating” impact of the problems.
Kym McPolin provided Homebase with right to work information and a copy of her passport when she started her employment with the company in May 2017. However, just a few months later, she was informed that the latter had been lost and she needed to provide another copy.
Then, in November 2019, an audit was undertaken at the store where Kym worked. It was again revealed that a copy of her passport was not on her personnel file. Neither of the copies provided were ever found, meaning they have been lost or misplaced by Homebase.
Following this loss of private personal information, Kym asked data breach legal specialists at Hayes Connor for support. They have subsequently helped her recover £10,000 compensation regarding her ordeal and the lasting impact it has had on her.
Kym said: “When you hand personal information over to companies, you expect it to be properly looked after. Learning about my lost passport the first time was a shock, but the second time I just couldn’t believe it.
“It has been an incredibly tough few years and it has taken its toll on me. I’ve endured depression, anxiety and panic attacks, as well as trouble sleeping. I’m currently on maternity leave and, after everything that has happened, do not intend to return to that job. It has all been devastating.”
Kym added: “While the case has been resolved, it is still hard to take that information like my name, address and date of birth has been lost or misplaced. Companies need to get to grips with this issue.”
Ben Brown, the Litigation Executive at Hayes Connor who represented Kym said: “Our client has been through a lot and was poorly treated by Homebase following her complaint about the breach. She has done nothing wrong in this case, but these problems have had a lasting effect on her.
“All of this highlights just how emotionally and psychologically draining data breaches of this nature can be – and it is absolutely vital that structures are in place to prevent these issues from emerging.
“Employers cannot underestimate the importance of ensuring sensitive personal information is held safely and securely.”
Hayes Connor was one of the first law firms in the UK to specialise in data protection law and data breach claims and has one of the largest teams of data breach experts in the country. It acts for clients on individual data breaches and also where the private information of a group of people has been compromised as part of a targeted attack or a large-scale data breach.