You could be in line for compensation worth thousands if you have been a victim of the Bristol City Council data breach.
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An email sending error by a council employee saw the identities of hundreds of families with disabled children shared with other families without their consent. The email was sent to over 400 primary carers for disabled children and those with special educational needs in an attempt to get their views on a new support service.
The information mistakenly shared included the names of all the children and the email addresses of their primary carers. These were viewable to all recipients of the email sent by the disabled children and specialist services department of Bristol City Council in November 2020.
The email was intended to go to multiple recipients, and should have been sent using the ‘blind carbon copy’ or ‘Bcc’ option, meaning that the email addresses of the other recipients are hidden. In this instance, the council employee sending the email used the standard ‘carbon copy’ or ‘cc’ function instead, so that every recipient could see the email address of every other recipient along with the name of their the disabled child. The data breach, as is required, was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The email sent by the Bristol City Council employee is believed to have exposed the names of 487 children as well as the email addresses of the parents or primary carers. Those who were affected by the data breach received a letter from the council, apologising for the error and asking them to delete the email they received.
In the letter from Ann James, the council director responsible for children and families, to those affected, the council admitted an accidental data breach had occurred and was due to human error. It appeared the person sending the email did not use ‘blind carbon copy’ when sending the email. If you received this communication then we can make a claim for data breach compensation for you on your behalf..
The revealing of children’s names and email addresses of parents is a serious breach of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), especially given the sensitive nature of the incident. For some, the data breach can be particularly significant, especially for those who have a disabled child to care for, and for whom the sharing of their child’s name and their email address could be particularly distressing.
If you have been affected by the Bristol City Council data breach then get in touch. Our data breach solicitors will act for you on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that even if you were to claim but did not win compensation, which would be somewhat unlikely, you will not have to pay us anything.
If you received a communication from the local authority informing you that you were part of the data breach, then you can make a compensation claim. As an affected parent or primary carer you have the right to claim for any distress and financial loss.
At Data Breach Claims we are here to support you and ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve. The sensitive nature of the incident means that more substantial compensation could be available, so make sure you enquire with us today.
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Any primary carer affected by the data breach will rightly be concerned that some personal information relating to them and the person in their care has been leaked, and that this could potentially end up in the hand of those who would look to use it to their advantage The sharing of such information is a clear breach of GDPR and means that a compensation claim could be made.
The leaking of personal data of this nature exposes families to an increased risk of fraud, and could be misused by those who had access to it. It leads people to have to be wary of emails, calls or other communications, especially from those presenting themselves as representatives of Bristol City Council. By taking action will force organisations such as the council to tighten up how they store and manage data in future.
The leaking of your personal data by Bristol City Council means that you could make a compensation claim regardless of whether you suffered any financial losses or not. Data breach compensation can be claimed for both financial loss and distress. With the leaked information being of a sensitive nature that could have been highly distressing for families and their children, this opens up the possibility of much greater compensation amounts being awarded.
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