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Businesses must do more than pay lip-service to the idea of data protection

data protection

At the end of 2018, our managing director Kingsley Hayes revealed the key data privacy trends that our firm has seen since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. You can read more about these trends here.

One of the most worrying things we are seeing is that the businesses entrusted to look after our personal information are doing little more than paying lip-service to the idea of data protection. Indeed we would argue that a lack of care is still rife, despite the tightening of our data protection laws.

What are we seeing?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have received more than 2,500 enquiries from customers who have suffered as a direct result of a data breach. That’s in the last six months alone. Some of these cases saw breaches of personal, financial and sensitive data from big companies including the likes of Ticketmaster, British Airways, and Dixons Carphone.

Not just hackers

But, while these cases are important, every day smaller data breaches are causing misery and upset to people across the UK. And while these incidents don’t make the headlines, for those involved the experience can be just as devastating.

At Hayes Connor, our experts deal with a significant volume of data breach cases each day. During our work, we see many different types of claims and how data breaches can affect people in different ways. Crucially, in most cases, these data breaches aren’t caused by scammers trying to hack big businesses, but by simple human errors.

How are organisations responding to data breaches?

Disturbingly, regardless of the size of the organisation, or the type of the breach, many companies are falling short of what we would expect when a failure in data privacy occurs. In our experience, companies and their representatives (be they legal or insurance based) are still responding with a pre-packaged “we won’t do it again” approach. This fails to recognise the full impact of the breach, which can be significant and of a psychological nature.

In many instances, the accepted risk management plan seems to be:

  1. Say sorry
  2. Provide free security monitoring software
  3. Promise it won’t happen again
  4. Advise the customer that there is nothing that they can do to remedy any losses they might suffer.

Such absence of care over the very real impact of data breaches should not be tolerated or accepted. And, in 2019, we would challenge businesses to do more to meet their data privacy responsibilities and provide an adequate response where they fail to do so.  This is necessary to ensure that individuals can expect a standard of data protection we should all aspire too.

If this challenge is not accepted, more and more customers will look for help to protect their privacy, and claim back from organisations where they have suffered loss.

Leading by example

At Hayes Connor, we want to reduce the number of data violations taking place across the UK. To do this, we are helping to raise awareness of this issue and educating people and businesses to prevent similar mistakes from happening.

For more advice on how to keep your data safe, follow our #notjusthackers campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

Alternatively, if you have been the victim of a data breach or cyber fraud, find out how we can help you to recover any losses or give us a call on 0151 363 5895 to discuss your case in more depth.