Data protection complaints increase by almost 50% in three months
According to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the number of reported data protection complaints has almost doubled since April this year. The increase in data breach complaints has happened since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25th.
The stats show that:
- 4,214 data protection complaints were made in July
- 3,098 data protection complaints were made in June
- 2,310 data protection complaints made in May
- 2,165 complaints were made in April.
In total, there were 957 reported data security incidents in Q4 2018. Common causes for these data violations include:
- Data sent to the wrong recipient
- Loss of theft of paperwork
- Failure to redact data
- Failure to use bcc when sending an email.
Worryingly, reported cybersecurity incidents also increased by 31% over the same period. Overall, general business, education and local government were the sectors with the most reported data breaches (the figures exclude the health sector).
Commenting on the changes since the introduction of the GDPR, a spokeswoman for the ICO said: "It's early days and we will collate, analyse and publish official statistics in due course. But generally, as anticipated, we have seen a rise in personal data breach reports from organisations.
"Complaints relating to data protection issues are also up and, as more people become aware of their individual rights, we are expecting the number of complaints to the ICO to increase too."
A rise in data breach awareness
The stats indicate that more and more people are becoming aware of their data protection rights. This makes sense as there have been many high-profile data protection scandals over the last few months.
For example, at Hayes Connor Solicitors we are involved in the following cases:
- Emma's Diary. Emma's Diary sold its users' information to Experian's marketing division. This data was then used to create a database which the Labour Party manipulated to profile new mums in the run-up to the 2017 General Election. Find out more about the Emma's Diary data breach
- Dixons Carphone. The Dixons Carphone or Carphone Warehouse data breach took place in 2017. It resulted in 10 million customer records being accessed from Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. The details stolen by cyber criminals include names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses. All of which can be used by cybercriminals to commit further crimes. Find out more about the Carphone Warehouse data breach
- Ticketmaster has admitted that thousands of UK customers have been put at risk due to third-party software on their website. This has since been removed but not before the software accessed a number of customers' personal and financial details. Find out more about the Ticketmaster data breach
- Last year, Equifax warned that up to 400,000 UK consumers might have had their personal details stolen. The data included names, address, dates of birth, and credit card numbers. Find out more about the Equifax data breach.
If you have been affected by any of these data protection cases, or if you want to make a data breach compensation claim against another organisation, let us know.
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we've been helping people to get the justice they deserve for over 50 years, so we know what it takes to make a successful data breach compensation claim.
Crucially, the law recognises the potential damage that is caused by psychological suffering. So, you can make a compensation claim if you have struggled emotionally following a data breach, even if you have not experienced any financial loss.