LEGAL EAGLE: Claiming damages for data protection breaches

Ben Hoare Bell LLP has confirmed it has now been instructed by clients to pursue claims for damages arising from the recent Virgin Media Data Protection breach.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 12:00 am
Data breaches are a huge area of legal concern.

In March 2020 it was confirmed that a Virgin Media database containing the personal details of 900,000 people was left unsecured and accessible online for 10 months.

The database which contained phone numbers, home and email addresses was accessed ‘on at least one occasion’ by an unknown user.

Reports have confirmed the data breach was not due to a cyber-attack but rather the database had been ‘incorrectly configured’ by a member of staff not following the correct procedures.

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Virgin Media has confirmed almost all of those affected were Virgin customers with television or fixed-line telephone accounts, although the database also included some Virgin Mobile customers as well as potential customers referred by friends as part of a promotion.

One client of Ben Hoare Bell LLP who is a victim of the breach stated: “How can a major technology company make such a basic mistake which could result in enabling cyber-criminals access to sensitive personal data? Virgin Media have admitted my data has been exposed for around 10 months and “that the information has been recently accessed”. This personal data breach has caused me

a great amount of distress and inconvenience and an apology is simply not enough”.

Meanwhile Solicitor Andrew Freckleton who has been instructed by a number of clients whose details were disclosed stated: “If you are a customer of Virgin Media and have recently been informed that your

details were left unsecured then you will no doubt have concerns about how your personal and sensitive data has been handled and the potential repercussions of this data breach.You have a right to claim compensation from an organisation if you have suffered damage as a result of your data having been breached. This can include if you have suffered financially and also if you have suffered distress and worry as a result of the data breach. We at Ben Hoare Bell LLP have an experienced Data Protection Law team ready to assist you in claiming

compensation if your data has been breached”.

If you wish to discuss a data breach please contact our Solicitors Richard Hardy or Andrew Freckleton to discuss further either by telephone on 0191 565 3112 or via email at [email protected]

We can offer appointments via telephone.