Labour Party suffers data breach exposing members’ private data
The Labour Party has experienced a significant data breach after a third party responsible for handling membership data on their behalf was subject to a cyber incident.
As a result of the incident, a significant quantity of members’ data was rendered inaccessible on the party’s systems.
At this stage, the Labour Party has not released any further details regarding the exact nature of the incident and how it occurred. It is also unclear exactly what information was exposed in the breach.
The Labour Party have simply stated that the data includes information provided to the Party by its members, registered and affiliated supporters, and other individuals.
Richard Forrest, Legal Director at specialist data breach legal experts Hayes Connor, which is helping some Labour members potentially affected by the breach, said: “This is a real worry for everyone who has contacted us so far. The most important thing the Labour party has to do – immediately – is to let those who have been affected know exactly what has happened. What data has been breached? Is it financial? What steps have been taken to protect any other information?
“People need to know. If it is financial information, then they need to be able to take steps to protect their bank accounts. If it is other personal information, then they need to know so they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
“Data breaches are a very emotional thing for those affected. We see all the time the impact it has on people and at the moment, Labour members have precious little information. That just increases the worry and anxiety, unnecessarily.
“Added to that, party affiliation is a special category of data under GDPR and rightly so. People have a right to keep their political affiliations to themselves if they wish to do so. It will be of real concern to some members that people may find out that they are party members when they have deliberately decided not to make that public. Everyone has a right to privacy.”
The Labour Party has claimed that it is working closely with the unnamed third party to understand the full nature of the incident, though it is not clear exactly what this entails.
The National Crime Agency (NCA), National Cyber Security (NCSC) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have all been notified.
If you have been contacted by the Labour Party to inform you that your data was exposed in the breach, or you have reason to believe that this is the case, you will likely have grounds to claim compensation.
The team at Hayes Connor are ready to advise and support anyone who has been affected by the Labour Party data breach. To find out more about how you can make a claim, please get in touch.
What to do if you are concerned about the Labour Party data breach
If your data was exposed in the Labour Party data breach, you should have already been contacted to inform you of the situation. If you have not been contacted and you have strong reason to believe that your data has been exposed, then you should contact the Labour Party as soon as possible to voice your concerns.
In the meantime, it is essential that you are vigilant of any unexpected communications, such as emails or text messages, particularly if they come from someone claiming to represent the Labour Party. These could be cleverly disguised ‘phishing’ attacks which are designed to extract further information from you.
There are various ways you can reduce the risk of cybercriminals using your personal data against you. For more, please read our helpful guide on what to do if your data has been stolen in a data breach.
If your data was exposed in the Labour Party data breach, you may be in line to claim compensation. This is something the team at Hayes Connor can help you with.
How Hayes Connor can help you claim compensation for the Labour Party data breach
Organisations which handle your personal data are legally obligated to keep it secure and out of the hands of unauthorised third parties. If any organisation fails to uphold this obligation, any affected individuals may be able claim compensation.
Hayes Connor has one of the largest teams of dedicated data breach specialists in the country. We have a wealth of combined expertise among our team and are well placed to take you through all the steps needed to bring forward a claim.
When we sit down to discuss your case, we will talk through your personal situation, assessing whether you are likely to be owed compensation, how much you could be entitled to and how the general claims process works.
We appreciate that losing your personal data can be incredibly distressing. That’s why our team also make sure to provide you with close personal support during the claims process, as well as making sure that everything remains as straightforward as possible.
You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle data breach claims here.
To start a claim, you can use our online claim form.
To speak to a member of our team about the Labour Party data breach, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5139.