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Watford Community Housing Trust Data Breach

Watford Community Housing Trust Data Breach

Watford Community Housing Trust, a UK-based housing association, has admitted to breaching the data of 3,545 of its tenants. A document containing the highly sensitive details of these tenants was emailed to customers in error. This is a clear breach of GDPR, and those affected could be entitled to claim compensation.

It has been reported that an email was sent out by Watford Community Housing Trust on the 23rd March 2020 to people it believed to be its tenants. The email was sent to residents to inform them of changes to their services due to the coronavirus outbreak and to let them know about the closure of its offices on Clarendon Road.

The email also included a spreadsheet with 3,545 rows, that included people’s names, addresses, dates of birth, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, and disability status. They later realised their mistake and sent a second email at 10pm on the 23rd March 2020 apologising and urging recipients to “please delete the email”.

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If accepted we will action your case on a no win no fee basis.

It is believed that everyone who received this email now has access to this highly sensitive personal data. Those who have had their data breached may include vulnerable people, those subject to witness protection orders, people who are ex-directory, and many others who do not want their home addresses, contact details, and sexuality made public. These people have a right to have their information kept private, and a breach of this kind of data can be incredibly distressing.

The circumstances of this data breach would also bring into question several human rights breaches also.

Watford Community Housing Trust has said all those affected have been contacted, and they have apologised for the breach. They state they have informed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as they are legally obliged to do so and are working closely alongside them. For many people affected by this breach, this is not enough.

If you are one of the thousands affected by the Watford Community Housing Trust data breach, you have the right to claim compensation. HNK Solicitors have a team of expert data breach solicitors who can help you pursue a claim on a no-win, no-fee basis, and get you the compensation you deserve.

What data was exposed in the Watford Community Housing Trust data breach?

The data that was breached by Watford Community Housing Trust included:

  • Names
  • Home addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Tenancy dates
  • Housing needs
watford community housing trust data breach

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Case Study

Graphic of a compter with a red warning symbol on the screen aginsta blue background

HNK secures £7,500 for client in data breach claim against Hull Combined Court Centre

Here at HNK Solicitors, we have extensive experience with data breach cases. We have supported many clients who have been negatively impacted by the misuse of their personal information to seek the compensation they deserve. As a result, we understand the long-lasting and significant consequences this can have. Safeguarding your personal information is particularly important when the information is sensitive. For instance, if it relates to legal, health or financial matters. The exposure of this...
Read More

How do I know if I have been affected by the Watford Community Housing Trust data breach?

Watford Community Housing Trust claims they have contacted the residents affected by the breach to provide information, guidance, and support. So, if you have received a phone call, letter, or email from Watford Community Housing Trust about a breach of your personal data, then you have likely been affected. They also claim they are taking a variety of steps to assess the potential impact on those affected by the breach, including any safeguarding concerns.

 

If you are still unsure if you have been affected, check your spam or junk folder to see if an email has been sent there, or search your emails for –

 

Watford Community Housing Trust’

 

Alternatively, or if you have any other concerns, the trust has said you should email –CustomerRelationsTeam@wcht.org.uk.


How can HNK Solicitors help with my data breach claim?

HNK Solicitors have a team of expert data protection solicitors with many years of experience dealing with data breach claims. We have been successful in obtaining compensation for clients who have been affected by data breaches against a wide variety of defendants based in England and other countries across the world. Under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have the right to claim compensation for any inconvenience, distress, or monetary loss you have suffered as a result of your data being breached.

 

You have the legal right to have your personal information kept private, and any companies that do not comply with data protection laws should be held to account. If you have been affected by the Watford Community Housing Trust data breach, contact HNK Solicitors for a free no-obligation consultation. Our experts will be able to offer advice on pursuing a claim against Watford Community Housing Trust, and we may be able to mount a group litigation case against the trust to get those affected the compensation they deserve.

Free Consultation

Contact HNK Solicitors to arrange a free no-obligation consultation where we can offer free advice on pursuing a claim against Watford Community Housing Trust.

No-win-no-fee

HNK offers a no-win, no-fee service, which means it will not cost you a penny upfront to start your claim. This means you can pursue your claim on a no-risk basis and only have to pay a small percentage if your claim is successful.

Client Communication

We understand this process can be distressing, so we handle everything for you and keep you up to date throughout the whole process.
FAQ

Was Watford Community Housing Trust responsible for the breach?

The breach happened because of human error. Although mistakes do happen, this doesn’t mean Watford Community Housing Trust should be let off the hook. If they had simply implemented some simple security measures such as encryption or password controls on people’s sensitive data, then this file would not have been readable by others.

What is a group litigation case?

A group litigation/group action claim or case is where a group of people – which can be as many as thousands – have all been affected by the same issue. All the people in the group collectively bring their cases to court against the Defendant and fight together to get compensation. This strengthens their overall position and can make a big organisation take a matter more seriously. It can also increase their chances of settlement or success in litigation.

Just because you are part of a group litigation claim, this doesn’t mean that everyone in the group will receive the same amount of compensation. Every claim within the group is settled based on the individual’s situation.

What can I claim for?

If your data has been breached, you can claim for both damages and distress. So, you can claim for any financial losses or emotional distress you have suffered as a result of having your data stolen. However, you also have the right to claim, even if you haven’t suffered as a result of the failure to protect your data as, by law, they must keep your personal data safe.

How much will it cost?

Nothing upfront. If we deem you have a case that has a high chance of success, we will offer you a no-win, no-fee agreement. This means it won’t cost you a penny to start your claim, and you won’t have to pay a thing if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your case is successful, the legal costs which consist of the work HNK Solicitors has done for you and disbursement costs such as court and barrister fees will be recovered from the Defendant themselves and the compensation you are rewarded. HNK cap the costs they take from your compensation at 35%, so no matter what you will get at least 65% of the compensation in the end.

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