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Social Services Data Breaches

Social services, just like any other public body or private organisation, store a significant amount of personal data, often of a very sensitive nature. Where this information is exposed or falls into the wrong hands, this could amount to a social services data breach, with affected individuals potentially being entitled to claim compensation.

At Hayes Connor, our data breach specialists understand just how devastating it can be to learn that you, or your children, have become a victim of a social services data breach. You will understandably have concerns about the impact on your family and be left dealing with stress and anxiety for a long time.

A large proportion of the data social services hold is highly sensitive, including private medical records, contact details and personal information that could be very damaging in the wrong hands. Where this type of data is compromised, the potential consequences for those affected can be very serious.

If your data has been exposed in a social care data breach, you may be entitled to claim compensation. This is something our data breach solicitors can help you with.

With a strong track record of success, our team know exactly what it takes to make a successful social services data breach claim and what steps need to be taken to help put things right.

Examples of social services data breaches we can assist with include:

  • Where someone requests their own records and sees sensitive information about their siblings or other relatives that should have been redacted.
  • A complaint is raised by someone about a family member which should be anonymous, but when the subject of the complaint requests the records, the identity of the person who made the complaint is visible.
  • Adoption records and other sensitive information is sent to the wrong person e.g. to neighbours on the same street.
  • Information about an adopted child is sent to their birth parents with information that shouldn’t have been shared e.g. the adoptive parents’ address, the child’s new name etc.

Given that social services data is often highly sensitive, private and personal, we understand just how stressful it can be to find out about a breach. Often, these types of data breaches are caused by simple human errors, which can make living with the consequences even more difficult.

The emotional distress of social services data breaches can be substantial and, while compensation will not be able to undo the mistake, it can go some ways to making amends. Making a successful claim is also often the best way of securing an apology and ensuring that the organisation responsible for the breach improves its data security policies to prevent similar errors from happening again in the future.

Our experienced, friendly team of data breach specialists can carefully review your situation and advise on whether you will have sufficient grounds to bring forward a claim. We can answer any questions you may have, and if you are unsure where your data has been mishandled, this is something we can investigate further for you.

Why work with Hayes Connor?

At Hayes Connor, we are data breach specialists first and foremost. We are dedicated to supporting victims of data breaches, including social worker data breaches, using our wealth of combined expertise and experience with these types of claims to provide carefully tailored support.

We are one of the UK’s largest and most experienced teams of dedicated data breach specialists. This means that we have a detailed knowledge of what the consequences of a data breach may look like, as well as what actions will need to be taken in order to make things right.

We always strive to make the entire data breach claims process as straightforward as possible, reducing the potential stress and anxiety you may be facing while also seeking to claim the maximum compensation. We hold an excellent track record of securing the maximum compensation for our clients, often without having to resort to court proceedings.

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Start a breach of social services data breach claim today

Think you are entitled to compensation for social services data breach? Use our simple and secure online claim form to inform us of the details of your situation, and our team will be in touch shortly to let you know whether we can help.

To speak to a member of our team about pursuing social care data breach compensation, please call us on 0330 041 5131.

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Social services data breach FAQs

If your personal data has been exposed in a social services data breach, it may be possible to take action in order to claim compensation. Compensation is not only used to cover financial losses (direct or indirect) that may stem from a data breach but it can also be used to help cover non-material damage. This may include the distress you and your family have suffered.

Our data breach experts can help to clarify whether you will be able to make a claim for a social services data breach and whether taking action would be possible based on your individual circumstances.

Social services are obligated to keep any personal information they store securely. There are certain scenarios where they have to divulge information as per the exemptions set out by the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act.

Given the nature of the work social services carry out and the type of data they collect, they may be required to share personal data for safeguarding reasons with other public services such as health, education or the police. However, the correct procedures need to be strictly followed for this to be possible.

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, an individual has a right to find out what information certain organisations store about them, including. This may include the right to:

  • Be informed about how their data is being used
  • Access personal data
  • Have incorrect data updated
  • Have data erased
  • Stop or restrict the processing of their data
  • Data portability (allowing them to get and reuse their data for different services)
  • Object to how their data is processed in certain circumstances

Social services are required to follow the guidance set out by UK GDPR.

The UK GDPR is tailored by the Data Protection Act 2018. The Data Protection Act defines social work data as personal data which:

  • “paragraph 8 of Schedule 3, Part 3 of the DPA 2018 applies to (generally this includes particular bodies processing personal data in connection with their social services functions or to provide social care); but
  • is not education data or health data.”

If an organisation has experienced a data breach and your data has been exposed or compromised, they are legally required to inform you that this is the case. Unfortunately, it has often been the case that this notification has not been sent out as promptly as might be expected. Even where some form of correspondence is sent out, the relevant message can be easily missed.

From our experience, we find that first time victims of a data breach discover their information has been compromised when the responsible organisation is penalised by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Where you have reason to believe that your data has been compromised in a social care data breach, but you are unsure how to find out for certain, this is something our data breach solicitors can help you with.

As standard, you will typically have six years to make a claim. This 6 year time limit is counted from the date when you were first aware of the data breach or would have reasonably been expected to be aware. Normally, this would be when the organisation contacted you to inform you of the breach.

There are a number of possible reasons why a social services data breach may take place, leading to the loss of your personal data. For example, the breach may be the result of simple human error, where an employee accidentally sends out an email to the wrong recipients, or a weakness in the social service’s security protocols leads to a cyber attack.

When instructed, the first step would be for our data breach experts to contact the social services provider on your behalf, using any findings from the ICO to assist.

Our data breach solicitors will then look to prove that a data breach has occurred and establish the way it has affected you and your loved ones, using this to place a value on the damages available for your claim.

Social services data breaches can often be resolved without court proceedings being required via a negotiated settlement. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, court proceedings may be required to secure the compensation you are owed.

Start your social services data breach claim today

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, our social services data breach solicitors can help you make a compensation claim, supporting you through the entire process and minimising the impact on you and your loved ones as much as possible.

Simply use the link above to start your claim, or you can call us on 0330 041 5131 to discuss your situation.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle data breach claims here. To have your claim assessed for free, you can use our secure online claim form. Or to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5131.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle claims here. To have your claim assessed for free, you can use our secure online claim form. Or to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5137.