Friday 27 November 2020
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Law firm fined for "repeated human errors"

Law firm fined for

Friday 06 November 2020

Law firm fined for "repeated human errors"


Trinity Chambers has been fined £10,000 after it sent out files containing "highly confidential and sensitive information" without appropriate security, meaning they were "unwittingly accessed" by third parties.

Following a complaint made to the Office of the Data Protection Authority, an investigation was launched into alleged unauthorised disclosures of personal data as a result of repeated human error.

It was shown that Trinity Chambers LLP sent files on email and in the post including highly confidential and sensitive personal details relating to the complainant and their family "without appropriate security."

This information was then "unwittingly accessed by unconnected third parties who had no way of knowing the nature or sensitivity of the content."

The Bailiwick’s Data Protection Commissioner Emma Martins said the firm had been fined £10,000 in order to "reflect the serious nature and impact of failing to look after personal data."

The fine also reflects the "lack of engagement" shown by the firm's data controller and concerns that there has been "a lack of appreciation of the potential wider impact of the breach for the individuals affected."

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Pictured: Mrs Martins said the case highlights the role of human error - "We understand that mistakes get made but when that happens, organisations must respond quickly, engage early and learn from what has happened.”

“The data protection law has the protection of individuals at its heart. The Authority will not hesitate to take proportionate and effective action in cases where the law has not been complied with," she said.

"We have been disappointed that there is little evidence that the controller in this case engaged in a timely manner with the complaint or appreciated the impact of the breach on the individuals concerned. This is especially relevant considering the role that trust and confidentiality plays in the legal sector.

"Individuals have a right to expect that those organisations who have their information will look after it properly. In a small community, such as ours, the impact can be significant if that information is compromised."

Trinity Chambers LLP had the right to appeal the judgment but chose not do so.

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