News article published on: 11th May 2016
Breach of confidentiality is terrifying and damaging for victims. Sensitive data revelations are causing substantial distress and loss of confidence. In recent cases, victims obtained compensation for breach of the Data Protection Act.
An HIV clinic has been fined £180,000 after a serious breach of privacy. Following a human error at the Dean Street Clinic, patients and service users of the clinic received an e-newsletter which wrongly identified the full list of recipients. E-mail addresses had been wrongly entered into the “to” field instead of the “bcc” field. The newsletter was sent to 781 e-mail addresses, 730 of which contained the full name of recipients. This breach resulted in the disclosure of confidential medical information.
In April 2016, another breach of confidentiality was revealed after Kent Police were fined £80,000 for a serious data breach. Officers handed over a phone belonging to an alleged domestic abuse victim to her partner’s solicitor. The complainant had given the phone to Kent Police as it contained a video supporting the claim against her partner. The phone also contained sensitive data.
Stephanie Prior, head of negligence at Osbornes Solicitors who is currently acting for a family involved in a serious breach of confidentiality comments:
“Organisations have a duty of care to make sure that the systems and staff they employ follow strict procedures, ensuring that confidential information they hold remains so. Breaches of confidentiality, as seen in the cases most recently reported in the media can destroy a person’s life and have far reaching effects on many of their family member”.
To speak with Stephanie about a breach of confidentiality you may have suffered you can e-mail or call on 020 7485 8811.