Mr Matthew McConville, the Head of our specialised Data Breach Department at Irvings Law has successfully represented two clients in a data breach compensation claim. The said clients wish themselves to be unnamed for the purposes of this case report and as such will be referred to as ‘Mr & Mrs D’.
As the local authority, Kent County Council were responsible for the actions of The Village Children’s Centre, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 6EQ. On the 15th May 2020, Mr & Mrs D received an email at 10:14hrs which was also sent to numerous other people and it attached a spreadsheet which disclosed Mr & Mrs D’s date of birth, address, email address and mobile telephone number without their consent. On the same day and at 13:54hrs, Mr & Mrs D (as well as the numerous other people) received a further email confirming that the earlier email at 10:14hrs (referred to above) had an attachment that was enclosed in error containing personal information pertaining to many people and unfortunately despite attempts being made, it was unable to be recalled. Within this email, Kent County Council confirmed that the incident had been reported to their Data Protection Team and an internal investigation was initiated whereby a review of your procedures regarding sending personal information by email would be undertaken and in the meantime, the staff concerned have been reminded of the need to ensure the safe handling of personal information.
As Kent County Council had done this, Mr & Mrs D sought expert assistance from Mr McConville. Without hesitation, Mr McConville offered to act for Mr & Mrs D on a no win, no fee basis and once instructed, Mr McConville lodged a Letter of Claim to Kent County Council. It was abundantly clear to Mr McConville that Kent County Council erroneously disclosed personal information pertaining to Mr & Mrs D without consent which they admitted and apologised for doing.
Mr McConville specifically alleged that Kent County Council had not kept Mr & Mrs D’s sensitive information safe and secure, they had breached / invaded their privacy under the Human Rights Act, had breached the Data Protection Act 2018/the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as confidence following their misuse of private information pertaining to Mr & Mrs D.
Following receipt of this Letter of Claim and without admitting liability, Kent County Council instructed Solicitors whom confirmed that they wished to settle Mr & Mrs D’s claims. As such, Kent County Council offered Mr D £100.00 plus his legal costs and £250.00 to Mrs D plus her legal costs to settle their claims. In response and following Mr McConville’s advice, Mr & Mrs D rejected the same and informed Kent County Council that they were now going to commence formal legal proceedings. Before doing so, Mr McConville engaged in various without prejudice discussions with Kent County Council regarding settlement and eventually managed to secure Mr D a settlement of £500.00 plus his legal costs and also £750.00 for Mrs D plus her legal costs too.