By Legal Futures’ Associate Hayes Connor Solicitors
In the year since GDPR came into effect on 25th May 2018, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has logged in excess of 14,000 data breaches – more than four times that during the previous year.
The independent information rights regulator has also reported that the number of complaints it has received from the public since GDPR has doubled to 41,054.
Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cyber security specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The figures are not surprising as the introduction of GDPR has both increased the focus on, and awareness of, data protection. More consumers are well versed in their rights and the value, and potential vulnerability, of their personal information.
“GDPR is still relatively in its infancy with evidence that more organisations are investing in both preventative technological measures and staff training to enhance their ability to protect customers’ personal data. The ICO is yet to deliver its first data breach verdict, and potential first fine, since GDPR.
“Dixons Carphone, owner of Currys and PC World, announced the UK’s biggest online data breach on 14th June 2018 admitting that 5.9 million of its customers’ cards and 1.2 million personal records had been compromised. The ICO’s verdict on the breach is anticipated in June and will set a precedence.
In June 2018 speculative media reporting estimated that the fines potentially facing the retail giant could reach a staggering £400 million. The ICO is yet to announce its decision on whether the Dixons Carphone data breach will be treated under GDPR regulations as the incident took place before it came into effect.
Kingsley Hayes continued: “While a growing number of businesses tackle their data protection obligations with increasingly robust measures, all will be watching to see how the ICO responds to the significant data breaches to date.”
Hayes Connor Solicitors is currently representing more than 200 claimants against Dixons Carphone.
The firm issued a claim for damages of up to £5 million against ticketing giant Ticketmaster in the High Court in April and is also acting against Equifax, British Airways, Marriott International, Amazon and the Police Federation following their data breaches.
For more information on Hayes Connor Solicitors, visit the website at www.hayesconnor.co.uk