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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70782
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My hard drive stop working so i gave it to IT technical to

Customer Question

Hi, My hard drive stop working so i gave it to IT technical to safe my files, he kept it over two weeks and after few prompting messages i finaly got it back. After i opened my hardrive i found out there are files of someone else with really sensitive information. I contacted it technical and asked him abput that but he was acting suspiciously and evidently he was lying. Then i contacted the owner of the files as there was her phone number and find out that this technical were doing her laptop year ago in her house and then kept all her files without consent. In this moment i have no idea where are my files.What can i do?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Tyldesley
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing yet as i dont know what to do
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Also when i asked the guy who was doing my hard drive if he knows who is the lady who's file are in my hardrive he said he doesnt know her and never done anything for her and that the mistake must happened in lab. But the lady named him as person who was doing laptop in her house
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

What are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I just want my files back and want to be sure they are not in bad hands. I dont want my files end up in someone laptop as the files the other woman as its really privat files
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. What types of files were they please?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Copy of pasports, birth certificates, medical records, contracts for job, P45, P60, and many others same as of course pictures and videos of our family
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. Whilst you can ask for your files back, you cannot force them to return them to you, especially if they are no longer in their possession. If they can try and trace them that would be useful and expected but if that is not possible and they are no longer accessible by the company, then there is not much that can be done to retrieve them.

In these circumstances you could potentially seek compensation, such as a refund for the services you paid for as they were not carried out with reasonable care.

Another option is to treat this as a data protection breach as they lost your personal data.

The latest version of the Data Protection Act (DPA) is the current legislation on data protection. It outlines certain principles for individuals and organisations to adhere to when they process an individual’s personal data. Any information from which an individual is personally identifiable will amount to personal data. If a party has acted in contravention of the DPA, 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 organisation in breach to see if things can be resolved directly with them, without the need to involve anyone else.

If that is unsuccessful, the next step is to consider reporting this 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 imposing fines and sanctions. However, they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and do this is by personally going through court.

What the ICO can do, if a breach is reported to them, is order the company to do any of 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

- impose severe financial penalties and fine the company in breach

If the victim wanted to take formal legal action, they may do so and issue a claim in the civil courts. There is no need to show that financial losses have been incurred 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. As this is often a complex area, it is advisable to seek further professional advice on the applicable rights and options.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.