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Hallmark Card PLC unlawfully allows access to employees’ personal information

Hallmark Card PLC unlawfully allows access to employees’ personal information

The Discovery

On 13 February 2020, a number of former employees for Hallmark Cards PLC received a letter from their former employer to inform them that their data had been breached as a document containing their personal details including:

  • Name
  • Contracted hours
  • Dates of employment
  • Job title
  • Salary
  • Salary review dates
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Disciplinary and grievances

It had been saved onto a shared IT drive by mistake and was accessed by an unauthorised person.

Representation

The said former employees instructed May Atkinson, Senior Associate of Irvings Law to represent them in their data breach claim against Hallmark Cards PLC. The claim was presented to Hallmark Cards PLC on the basis that they had breached their obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Hallmark Cards PLC instructed Walker Morris solicitors to defend them.

Resolution

Walker Morris responded to the presented claims by admitting the breach had occurred but they suggested it was so minor that it did not justify any compensation at all. Despite this, they subsequently made an offer of £500.00 to cover compensation and legal costs. Irvings Law advised the employees to reject the offer as better compensation should be awarded in this matter given what has happened. The said employees following Irvings’ advice and Hallmark’s offer was rejected. This led to Hallmark making a further offer of £760.00 plus legal costs. Again upon considering the offer and taking into account how the breach had affected each individual employee, Irvings Law advised the employees to again reject. Following further negotiations after this, each of the employees’ claims were settled in excess of £1,000.00 plus legal costs.

If you have also been affected by this breach, please complete our online website form and the team will be in touch.

Posted in GDPR Case Reports

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