Police Data Breach Claims
Have you been a victim of a police data breach? Find out if our expert panel of solicitors can assist you with a potential claim.
Unfortunately, data breaches are a global problem that is growing more and more prevalent as our lives move online. They affect every sector of society, including the police force, an authority that is supposed to keep the safety and security of a country and its citizens. The police store sensitive and confidential information and data gathered from arrests and various cases, which are attractive to hackers from myriad circles. This means we put our trust in them to keep our data secure. If they haven’t and your data has been lost or stolen, you could be owed Police Data Breach compensation.
Despite their strict policies and latest security technology, the police can still be penetrated by hackers. They may not be the ones who perpetrate the data breach, but they are responsible for keeping people’s information safe. That makes them answerable to the law.
A good part of the police force still store data and information on paper, which poses an additional risk because such a storage type is easy to access. Physical documents are not encrypted data and can be easily lost or stolen.
The fact that there are officers who do not know or are not well-trained to manage and secure sensitive information makes the situation more complicated. In 2020 alone, around 2300 data breaches were reported by some members of the UK police forces. A year before that, a ransomware cyber-attack caused a serious data breach at The Police Federation of England and Wales and it compromised personal information of PFEW guests and police officers. It also compromised financial and bank details of federation members and guests.
Data breaches are terrifying because they can drastically change the course of your life in an instant - and sometimes, you may find out about it too late. It is important that you know and understand what to watch out for and how to counter such incidents. Our panel has all the necessary information you need, and they will work with you in getting the compensation you need for police data breaches.
What is a data breach?
A data breach happens when the safety and security of protected data is compromised resulting in the loss, unlawful or accidental destruction, unauthorised access or disclosure of, and alteration of sensitive information. This can include banking information, passwords, addresses, medical information and other sensitive data.
Police data breaches are typically the result of malicious cyber-attacks, although human error or unlawful human acts are also a significant part of the equation.
The repercussions of a data breach, some of which were mentioned earlier, can have a lasting effect on the victim. When financial or bank details are compromised, it can lead to loss of privacy, financial loss, fraud, and identity theft. It can also cause mental issues such as depression and emotional distress.
An EU law introduced in 2018 mandates police officers to abide by the following principles to prevent data breaches:
- Fairness, transparency, and lawfulness
- Purpose and storage limitation
- Confidentiality, integrity
- Minimisation of data
The regulation is called GDPR or General Data Protection Regulations. Violations against it can lead to fines and other sanctions.
Individuals, organisations, and companies whose data were breached can file a police data breach claim against the concerned law enforcer/s.
Some examples of police data breach include:
- A data breach that occurred because of a stolen laptop with access to the Police National Computer
- A police officer sending information to a third-party without redacting or editing an individual’s personal information
- Police staff sending out (via email) an individual’s personal case information to the wrong recipient
- A police officer or staff falling prey to phishing attacks and exposing people’s personal data to cyber-criminals
Data breach victims can file a case against the involved police officer/s, the police force, the Ministry of Justice, and the courts.
Types of police and criminal justice data breaches
There are several types of data breaches that anyone can fall victim to.
- Police data breaches compromise the data and information of documents stored in the police force system. Most of these files contain details about arrest and other similar activities. These breaches involve sensitive information such as name, contact number, and addresses, among others.
- Data breaches in the CICA or Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority compromises data related to compensation claims filed by violent crime victims in England, Wales, and Scotland.
- Data breaches in the legal community are quite common, particularly those committed by claims management companies, law firms, and lawyers.
Can I claim compensation for a police data breach?
You can file for a police data breach compensation claim if any of the following happened to you:
- The breach compromised your personal data
- The breach happened because of a police force’s mistake or wrongdoing
- The breach caused you psychological harm, financial loss or expense, and emotional distress
You have to provide evidence that all three points have happened to you. Once you have proof, you can file a complaint with the police force. This should be done in writing and addressed to the right department. It is important to indicate a certain time frame for which you will be expecting their response.
Your complaint should specify the nature of the breach, how it happened, what it compromised, and how the incident has affected you.
If the police force does not respond to your complaint, you can bring your complaint to the ICO or the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you are not happy with the result of your complaint, you can file a civil claim against the police force. ClaimExperts.co.uk have a panel of expert Actions Against The Police solicitors who can guide you through this. You may be eligible to claim compensation for the suffering caused.
How is compensation calculated?
Police data breach compensation calculations depend on your medical assessment, including psychological injuries. Financial losses as a result of the breach are also taken into account.
How can ClaimExperts.co.uk help?
The police data breach compensation claims process can be challenging if you do not know what to do, where to go, and what to prepare. This is where the panel of highly skilled expert Actions Against The Police solicitors at ClaimsExperts.co.uk can help.
Our panel is trained to make the claims process simple, convenient, and efficient for you. All you have to do is provide us the details, documents, and other requirements, and they will help you get the compensation you deserve. Start today by checking your eligibility on our claim form below.
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