Ever wonder who has access to your Sensitive Personal Data and what are they doing with it?
Modern Companies hold huge amounts of sensitive personal and financial data about their customers.
While you may have voluntarily given that information to them, they still have a responsibility to ensure that it’s safe, protected, and used correctly.
That is particularly so where that “Data Controller” is a health service provider and holds sensitive medical and personal data about you. Your employer also has a significant obligation to you. If your personal information has been collected, stored, or used in breach of strict data protection and privacy laws, we can help you understand what your next steps should be.
The recent hacking of the HSE systems shows just how damaging a data breach could be. Just imagine all of your sensitive medical data ending up on the internet for everyone to see. The HSE, having failed to take proper precautions for an attack like this, put everyone of their patient’s data at risk. Not only that but the criminals could also possibly use the stolen data for other theft or fraud crimes against the affected patients.
Without even knowing it, you could be a victim of this huge data breach…
Understanding your rights
Most people have heard of GDPR and you may even know about the huge fines that can be imposed against organisations like the HSE who put customers data at risk. But what does that mean to you. A big fine against them is of little comfort to you when your credit card details end up on the dark web. Those fines simply go to the Data Protection Commissioner’s coffers. The only way you can get compensation for such a breach is to take your own legal action. Our Client JH was dismissed from his job as an electrician when his employer wrongly used a GPS tracker in his van to allege that he had been falsifying his time sheets. Not only was this simply not true, the Employer had never even consulted with him about the tracking and there was nothing in JH’s contract of employment or company handbook about it. Not only was this a cast iron case of unfair dismissal but JH’s data protection rights had also been breached.
“I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in that room when they got my solicitor’s letter” JH, Dublin
JH’s Employer initially took a hard line, but when it became clear to them that JH wasn’t for turning and we helped him make complaints to both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, their attitude soon changed dramatically. We threatened them with a Circuit Court action for their breach of JH’s Privacy and Data Protection rights and they soon realised the writing was on the wall.
“This wasn’t about the money, it was the principle of the thing. Not only was I not falsifying anything, the manner in which they went about it was disgusting and I could not stomach them getting away with that”. JH, Dublin
When MD came to us she was distraught because her employer had used CCTV footage in a disciplinary action against her. She was really frustrated because the CCTV had been taken in a way that completely misrepresented what had happened. She was working with highly volatile individuals, in a care setting and had been attacked by one of the service users. The CCTV only showed the bit where she had pushed the user off her and escorted him out of the room. This had been surreptitiously recorded by another staff member, off the CCTV system in order to cause trouble for MD. MD understandably wanted to challenge the dismissal which we did but we also advised her that there were significant Data Protection issues regarding how her Data had been stored, accessed and unlawfully used in the process. For example, how was the other employee able to access this personal data? How was she authorised to record it and remove it from the premises? Why was it used in a disciplinary investigation and hearing when it had been gathered unlawfully? And why was no action taken about this unlawful gathering and processing by them and others? The response from the Data Controller was simply…Silence.
“I can’t tell you how thankful I am to Sean and his team. In what was the most trying time of my life they were there and supporting me every step of the way. I already settled my WRC case and now I am pursuing them for the breaches of Data Protection. They will regret the way they treated me”. MD, Waterford
Understanding your rights is just part of the process of ensuring that organisations are meeting their legal obligations to you in terms of your privacy and data protection. As a result of the GDPR, you have far stronger rights and protections to control your personal information and how it used. For instance in relation to your consent for both the collection of your personal data and its intended uses as well as the right to the deletion of your personal data. Those storing and using your data will also have a responsibility to ensure that it’s adequately protected at all times, including when it’s being transported, and must report data breaches efficiently. One of the biggest changes is around the compensation provisions which means that individuals can personally pursue breaches more easily in the Courts against a company that has breached their rights. Whether you’re unsure that your data has been compromised or you believe laws around the gathering and processing of your information have been breached, we have the expertise and skills to help you. If you have a valid claim, we can discuss with you how best to pursue redress (compensation) on your behalf to get the situation righted and ensure that the necessary consequences are faced by those that let you down.
We are a specialist employment law practice. That means that every single day we’re dealing with our Client’s Data Protection and Privacy rights and ensuring that employers are respecting these. We are perfectly placed to not only offer you advice on data privacy and protection concerns but to guide you through its complexities too. We’ve already built up years of experience working with individuals data protection rights, ensuring we’ve gained a comprehensive view of how to offer you the best level of guidance and support.
What we Do
Our dedicated team of professionals has huge experience working on behalf of and with workers in these types of situation. We have the legal knowledge required to guide you through this complex situation and give you the advice and support you need right now. We are experienced at resolving these types of claims quickly and effectively – often without you even having to face a drawn-out battle in Court. Our aim is to work for you to achieve the best possible outcome so that you can move on with your life. We will;
- Listen to You!
- Advise you on your legal rights;
- Take all the necessary legal steps required to make your voice heard and;
- Get you compensation.
With You, Every Step of the Way
Most of all, we will be with you, every step of the way and when push comes to shove, we will be your voice.
Barrack Obama once said “one voice can change a room, and if it can change a room, it can change a city and if it can change a city it can change a nation and if it can change a nation it can change the world”.
Make your voice heard and help to change something…
Our service is confidential, discrete and tailored to each Client to fit their individual needs. We will never disclose your information to others.
What do I need to Do Next?
Every month, we offer a select number of potential clients an opportunity to meet with one of our team for a free, no obligation, initial consultation to discuss the options available to you.
At that meeting we will LISTEN and go through with you every aspect of your case and can give you clear advice about your options, what legal steps you can take to make this stop and we will also explain the whole process and the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you wish to proceed we will file your claim, draft written submissions and represent you at any Court hearing. Due to high demand and because we only work with a limited number of cases, we only offer 20 appointments a month. We know that these appointments always fill up very quickly. Contact us today to see how we can help you chose the outcome you want. Please also remember that you only have two years from the date of your accident or injury to make your claim so don’t delay, the clock is ticking. After that time limit passes, your claim is what’s called “statute barred” which means that you can’t make a claim at all after that.