Thank you. If there was no communication or policy that they were going to release your personal details, they have most likely acted in breach of data protection and you can ask for the immediate removal of your personal details from public view. They could have shared your details if you were officially informed that this was going to happen and you consented to it, for example by agreeing specifically to it, or by joining the organisation on the basis that these were their joining terms. In the absence of any of these, this is most likely a data protection breach.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is the current legislation on data protection and outlines certain principles for data controllers to adhere to when they process an individual’s personal data. If a party has acted in contravention of the GDPR, the person whose rights have been breached could potentially take things further and even seek compensation for damages.
The first step is to consider reporting the alleged breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). They are the regulatory body that deals with data protection breaches and have certain powers at their disposal to deal with them, such as fines and sanctions. However, they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and do this is by going through court.
What the ICO can do, if a breach is reported to them, is order the company to do the following:
- impose a temporary or indefinite ban on the processing of data
- force them to comply with your request
- provide any required information
- warn and admonish
- order rectification, erasure or destruction of specific data
In addition, they can impose severe financial penalties and fine the company in breach.
If the victim wanted to take formal legal action, they may do so under Article 77 of the GDPR. There is no need to show that financial losses have been suffered and compensation can be sought for mere distress caused by the alleged breach. The level of compensation will depend on the severity of the breach and the effects it has had on the victim.
Does this answer your query?