Home Office guilty of EU Settled Status data breach
In a recent blog, we looked at how an administrative error by the Home Office exposed the email addresses of hundreds of Windrush migrants. And the department hasn't learned from its mistakes. An EU Settled Status data breach has now endangered the details of hundreds of EU citizens in the UK.
EU Settled Status data breach
In the latest "administrative error", the Home Office failed to conceal email addresses in a group communication. This email was sent toapplicants of the EU Settled Status scheme. The controversial scheme allows EU nationals and their families to secure their rights in the UK after Brexit.
In total around 240 email addresses were revealed.
The breach happened on Sunday 7 April. It occurred because the department failed to use the 'bcc' function when sending a bulk email. The breach is likely to have made a stressful situation even worse. Particularly as these applicants had already faced technical difficulties while trying to keep their rights in the UK.
The Home Office has since apologised to those affected. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is aware of the breach. It will now decide whether or not to launch a full inquiry.
What have people said about the EU Settled Status data breach?
Nicolas Hatton, from the 3 Million campaign group said: "It feels like it adds insult to injury". While one recipient of the email told the BBC that she was outraged and was considering returning to Germany.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: "Data breaches are now a matter of routine, while all those who are unfortunate enough to have to deal with the Home Office face a combination of indifference, incompetence and the hostile environment."
Conservative MP Alberto Costa has called on the Government to scrap the "morally repugnant" system.
What can you do if you have suffered because of the EU Settled Status data breach?
Experiencing a data breach can result in significant stress and anxiety. And this can lead to a diagnosable psychological injury.
For people who are already worried about their rights being removed following Brexit, knowing that their personal information has been violated could be particularly distressing.
If you have suffered damage or distress caused by the EU Settled Status data protection breach you could have a right to claim compensation. To find out how we can help you recover any losses, contact us to discuss your case.