The latest incident, one of a long line of local authority and government data breaches in recent months, involves Wealden District Council.
The data breach occurred on November 10th, when someone was “inadvertently” given access to sensitive council data, including court documents and a tenant’s rent statements, via an online cloud platform.
The council has said it is investigating and wants to understand precisely what was shared with the individual in question. The council also said it had reported itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Council says it acted swiftly to remove access
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Wealden District Council said: “We took immediate action to remove access once the error had come to light.
“We have reported the breach to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), with whom we will be fully cooperating in respect of this matter.
“In the meantime, we are conducting our own internal investigation to establish the nature of the content shared with the individual concerned. We have so far found that personal data contained within a set of court documents, and that within rent statements from a small number of council tenants (including names, addresses and payment due amounts) was accessed by this individual.
“With support from the ICO, we will be doing all we can in the coming days, weeks and months to review all our data management procedures; and where necessary we will strengthen them to ensure that this does not happen again.
“The council’s data protection officer will be contacting those affected. We will provide another public update with any further details as our investigation progresses.
“We have always prioritised the security of data relating to our residents and customers, but regret that in this instance we have fallen short of the high standards we set ourselves. We sincerely apologise to any affected person for any inconvenience or distress related to this matter.”
Local authority data breaches are on the rise. If you’re affected by one, you could be entitled to compensation
Local authorities and government bodies are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals due to the sensitive data they hold. At the same time, many of these organisations fall victim to data breaches due to their own negligence.
Regardless of the specifics behind a data breach, if a local authority incident affects you, you could be entitled to compensation.
If your data has been exposed in a local authority data breach, contact LawPlus here for a free, no-obligation assessment of your case.