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Southern Water Data Breach Compensation

Are you one of the more than 4.7 million customers provided with water services and wastewater services by Southern Water? If so, and you have been affected by the breach, you might be able to seek personal data breach compensation. Contact us today to learn more about your options and when compensation claims against Southern Water could be possible.

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What is the Southern Water Data Breach?

Southern Water is a UK water utility company that provides water services to 2.5 million customers as well as wastewater services to more than 4.7 million customers across Southern England. 

On the 23rd January 2024, Southern Water released a statement that they were aware of a claim made by cyber criminals, known as Black Basta, that date had been stolen from some of their IT systems. After previously detecting suspicious activity, they launched an investigation and informed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent body set up to uphold information rights in the UK.

Later, on the 12th February 2024, another statement was issued by Southern Water announcing that data had been stolen following a cyber hack of their IT systems. The water company has said they will be informing current and former employees as well as 5-10% of their customer base to notify them that their personal data has been impacted. 

The ICO is currently investigating the incident and internal investigations are also ongoing. 

Sources: 

https://www.southernwater.co.uk/the-news-room/the-media-centre/2024/february/cyber-attack-update-for-customers

https://www.southernwater.co.uk/the-news-room/the-media-centre/2024/january/cyber-investigation

 

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What Was Stolen in the Southern Water Data Breach?

An email was sent to customers announcing that personal details and financial information may have been stolen for sale on the dark web in a cyber attack. The types of personal data that could be affected include:

  • Names
  • Dates of birth
  • National Insurance numbers
  • Bank account details
  • Reference numbers

If your personal data has been compromised in the data breach and this has caused you financial loss and/or emotional harm, call our team today. They can provide advice on when compensation claims against Southern Water could be possible. 

We take data protection and information security very seriously and, by our regulatory obligations, we are making contact with anyone whose personal data may be at risk.

Based on our forensic investigations so far, which are ongoing, we are notifying in the order of 5 to 10 per cent of our customer base to let them know that their data has been impacted. We are also notifying all of our current employees and some former employees.

These notifications include security advice, as well as guidance on recommended precautionary steps and details of the support we are offering them. This support includes enhanced Experian credit monitoring, free of charge, for the next 12 months. The service provides active monitoring which can detect and help prevent fraudulent misuse of personal information.

Throughout this process we have been working with Government, our regulators and the National Cyber Security Centre. We have also notified the police and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Since the incident, our IT security teams have worked with independent incident response experts, using enhanced monitoring and protection tools to check actively for any suspicious activity on our IT estate. Southern Water’s operations and services to customers have not been impacted.

Further updates will be posted on our website and social media channels as we know more. Please be assured that if at any point we have reason to believe your data may be impacted, we will notify you, in line with our regulatory obligations.If you have specific questions relating to the cyber incident then please call 0330 303 0025.

Can I claim compensation against Southern Water despite no losses?

Eligibility for compensation claims for data breaches is not reserved solely for individuals who have been affected financially. Many data breach claims are initiated on the grounds of emotional distress. The potential for the misuse of banking details could have a wide impact for you. For example: 

  • Fraudulent Account – Using stolen identity documents, criminals could open financial accounts in your name. This unauthorised use could lead to a whole host of issues, such as debts and unwanted financial obligations. 
  • Loan Applications – With sufficient information, it’s possible for loans to be taken out in your name if there are copies of your personal information used to confirm your identity.
  • Credit Card Fraud – If criminals can bypass credit card applications using your proof of identity, then they could make various purchases under your name.
  • Online Shopping and Payments – Fraudsters could use personal information to create online shopping accounts and charge payments to your credit or debit card.
  • Impersonation – Fraudsters could attempt to contact various individuals using your personal information to gain trust, and thereby gain access to more information. 

To discuss your circumstances and find out if you could make a Southern Water data breach compensation claim, and speak to one of our specialists who will help you through this issue. Our lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that there is no upfront cost to you for them to begin working on your case. 

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What Are My Rights Under The Data Protection Act 2018?

The Data Protection Act 2018 represents the UK’s adaptation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Those responsible for using personal data have to follow strict rules, known as ‘data protection principles’. As such, they must make sure the information is:

  1. Used in a way that is fair, lawful, and transparent.
  2. Used for specified and explicit purposes.
  3. Used in a way that is adequate, relevant to the purpose set out for processing, and limited to what’s necessary.
  4. Kept up to date and accurate.
  5. Not kept for any longer than necessary.
  6. Handled in a way that protects against it being processed, accessed, lost, destroyed, or damaged unlawfully or without authorisation.

 

Additionally, under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the right to find out what information organisations store about you as well as the right to be informed about how your data is being used, access your personal data, have your data updated if it’s incorrect, have your data deleted, object to how your data is being used or processed in certain circumstances. Furthermore, you have the right to data portability which means you can get and reuse your data for different circumstances. 

Furthermore, if an organisation undergoes a data breach, they are obliged to report it to the ICO within 72 hours of discovery, and in some cases, they might also need to notify the individuals affected.

Failure to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 can lead to substantial fines from the ICO. Therefore, businesses must understand their responsibilities under this law and take necessary measures to ensure compliance.

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We use dedicated data breach solicitors who have handled thousands of data breach claims

Peter is a solicitor who has worked as a professional litigator for 3 years. More recently Peter has specialised in data breach compensation claims and over the last 2.5 years has gained a wealth of knowledge in this sector. Peter now works with us to share his knowledge and inform the general public.

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They dealt professionally and quickly with our data breach compensation claim. The staff went above and beyond our expectations and were very friendly and helpful. Would definitely use again.
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Manchester
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They dealt professionally and quickly with our data breach compensation claim. The staff went above and beyond our expectations and were very friendly and helpful. Would definitely use again.
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