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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73943
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was informed that the new owners of the company I do work

Customer Question

Hi, I was informed that the new owners of the company I do work for have accidentally shared my personal information with my colleagues, is this a legal matter?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: JR offered me Experian fraud cover
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: freelancer
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 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 21 days ago.

What personal information has been shared?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Name address and bank details
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I can only email
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK thanks, ***** ***** was this information shared with please?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
All employees so around 10-12 staff
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Thank you. What are you ideally hoping for so that I can best advise? and how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I think it’s more is the way they have handled it legally ok? I have worked there for about 8/9 years. They just phoned and said oh sorry we shared your data we have tried to recall the email but if you buy an Experian fraud cover we will reimburse you?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

The sharing of your personal data, even if unintentional, will be a data protection breach. 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 21 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.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best