How Hayes Connor helps our clients after a local authority data breach
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we help our clients get the compensation they deserve. We do this following data protection breaches, cybercrime, and other online offences. One type of claim we see a lot of is local authority data breaches.
The public sector is privy to a wide range of our sensitive information. And this data is regularly shared between organisations and departments as part of modern governance and the delivery of public services. But, with data breaches on the rise, government bodies must do more to improve cybersecurity.
Here are just some of the local authority data breath cases we have helped our clients with recently.
Copy of a court order sent to the wrong postal address
In this data breach, a local authority sent a copy of a court order containing sensitive personal information about a father (our client) and his daughter to the wrong postal address.
Just a small error saw the letter being sent to a neighbour, who brought it round to the right address. But the letter had been opened. And after talking to the neighbour, it became clear that it had also been read.
What's more, when the letter was passed to the right house, it wasn't handed to the right person. Because it was opened, it was read by another member of the family. They became distressed at the contents. This went on to cause difficulties in the family.
As a result of a seemingly small admin error when posting the letter, this data breach has caused considerable upset and embarrassment to our client. He had to explain a sensitive situation to his family in more detail than might otherwise have been necessary. And, his neighbours became aware of a very private and sensitive situation. One which has been talked about within his small local community.
As such the consequences of the error and the impact on his mental health were far-reaching.
Woman's driving licence shared without her permission by a local council
The secretary of a committee informed our client that the local council had emailed them a copy of her driving license.
Concerned that her data had been breached, our client searched online for a data breach solicitor. She then emailed Hayes Connor to find out if we thought the case was worth taking on. We agreed that her data had been breached and took her case on a no-win, no-fee basis. We sent her a detailed questionnaire which she filled out and returned so we could prepare her case.
Next, we instructed our appointed barrister to provide expert advice on her prospects of success and the amount of compensation she was entitled to for the data breach.
Then we sent a letter before action (LBA) to the council. The LBA let the local authority know that we would be starting proceedings against it and we were very serious about getting her the compensation she deserved for the distress caused by the violation.
The council responded, attempting to justify why it felt her claim was not valid. However, we replied setting out why it was, and we requested that they supply a number of documents as evidence. We also sent a 'Part 36' offer to the authority. This is designed to encourage parties to settle disputes without going to trial. This offer was accepted.
Commenting on her experience, our client said: "Highly professional and very informative, every step of the way. Also been very helpful! After this experience I can't think of anything at all that could improve your service. Everything was explained to myself in a straightforward way, and I certainly would recommend Hayes Connor, without a doubt! Absolutely fantastic!"
Help is needed after a local authority data breach
As central and local government becomes digital, it is vital that there are adequate and robust protections in place to secure the data and information held within it. And that public sector staff have the knowledge and ability to handle such data securely. But all too often this isn't happening. And, as you can see, the result of not looking after personal information properly could put people's mental health, and potentially even their lives at risk.
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are 100% committed to seeking the compensation necessary to help people get their lives back on track following a data breach. But we don't believe that our obligation to our clients stops there - we also provide a wide range of information to help our clients protect themselves once a breach has occurred.
Making a local authority data breach compensation claim
We help our clients to make compensation claims after their data was put at risk by the organisations they trusted to look after it.
Our professional, friendly team will advise you on whether you have a valid claim against a local council, department or other government body. If we believe you have a substantial, complex case, we may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis. Our process is fully compliant with ICO guidance, and we never put your details at risk. We will NEVER pass your details onto anyone without your permission.
Contact us today for a free initial assessment.