Following an error by council staff, the Birmingham City Council data breach has reportedly exposed the private details of residents, potentially including those of vulnerable children.
We understand that the breach arose as a result of the accidental publication of private information to a site that was freely accessible to members of the public.
Though the council has stated that the mistake was corrected quickly, it is nevertheless true that the victims’ data could have reached the hands of malicious people. Any situation in which personal data is exposed in this way should be treated seriously and, in many cases, it may be possible for those affected to claim compensation. It can also be possible to represent victims for a legal case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Birmingham City Council data breach reportedly exposes details of vulnerable children
On 19th March 2021, an internal council email was sent out to give notification of a serious breach that had been caused by staff within the authority. The user error made is understood to have involved the publication of private citizen data to the council’s website BRUM Account, via which Birmingham residents can access a variety of services.
The information affected by the Birmingham City Council data breach is understood to have also included information about children who are eligible to claim free bus passes provided by the council.
Though they have not yet detailed exactly how many people might have been affected, the council was keen to establish that the erroneous upload had been taken down quickly, and they have said that no downloads of the data had been made.
What does this data breach mean for the victims and the council?
As far as the victims are concerned, the Birmingham City Council data breach is currently understood to be a ‘near miss’. However, if it were to emerge that their data was in fact accessed by an unauthorised user, their personal privacy and safety may be at risk. In the hands of the wrong people, private data can be a point of entry into a victim’s personal life which can be abused for manipulation and/or for criminal purposes.
The council appears to have been let off lightly following the data breach. After reporting the breach to the ICO, the data protection regulator has decided that no further action needs to be taken. A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council has since stated that the information of vulnerable children was not exposed, despite allegations to that effect. The local authority claims that it will learn from the breach by making sure its employees are conscious of their data protection responsibilities.
Making a data breach claim
We believe that incidents like the Birmingham City Council data breach cannot simply be regarded as opportunities for lessons to be learned. Employees should be fully aware of their data protection obligations at all times to prevent incidents like this from occurring in the first place.
Making a data breach claim can allow victims of data breaches to recover compensation for any distress or financial losses they have suffered as a result. If you have been affected by the Birmingham City Council data breach, or any similar breach, you can contact us for free, no-obligation advice on your potential compensation claim.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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First published by Matt on March 30, 2021
Posted in the following categories: Data Breach Claims Data Breach Compensation Data Group Actions Group Actions Latest Technology and tagged with compensation claims | data breach | group action