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Council data breach after worker illegally accessed records 83 times in six months

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A former reablement officer has been prosecuted for accessing social care records without authorisation. In this council data breach case, Dannyelle Shaw, who worked at Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, inappropriately accessed the social care records of 7 adults and 9 children without any business need to do so.

According to reports, Ms Shaw illegally accessed the social care database without authority 83 times between April and September 2017. One of the adults affected later found out and made a complaint.

Ms Shaw had received training in data protection and confidentiality protocols. As a result, she was dismissed by the council before being prosecuted by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Appearing before Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court, Ms Shaw was sentenced to a fine of £450, ordered to pay costs of £364 and a victim surcharge of £45.

A price not worth paying

Speaking about this council data breach, Hazel Padmore, head of investigations at the ICO, said:

"People whose work allows them access to what can often be highly sensitive personal information need to know that the ICO will act to protect the legal rights of data subjects.

"This is another case where someone clearly knew the importance of confidentiality and protecting people's personal information but decided to disregard all their training for their own reasons, and ended up paying a heavy price.

"Losing your job and ending up before the courts is not a price worth paying."

Not Just Hackers

This case should remind people that they could face criminal prosecution and fines if they access or share personal data without a legal reason.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we see many different types of claims and understand how data breaches can affect people in different ways.

Helping to reduce the number of data violations taking place across the UK, we are sharing such real-life examples of data protection breaches to raise awareness of this issue and educate people to prevent similar instances from happening.

For more advice on how to keep your data safe, follow the Hayes Connor #NotJustHackers campaign onTwitterandFacebook.

Alternatively, if you have been the victim of a data breach,find out how we can help you to recover any lossesor contact us to discuss your case in more depth.