27th August 2019

The BBC have spoken with a lady who had her safe house address disclosed to her violent ex-husband by her bank.

Having been subjected to physical violence and abusive and controlling behaviour she had left her ex-partner.

However, while at a safe house she received a bank letter. Her safe house address and her ex-husband’s address were on the top of this letter.

The bank had accidentally told her ex-husband where she was living, and in doing so had put her safety at risk.

The BBC reports that on receiving the letter she phoned the bank who confirmed a standard letter about interest rates had been sent to both of them.

She told the BBC “I then had to move, because he then knew where I was. I was absolutely petrified. I just phoned everybody and said, ‘Can I come and stay? I can’t stay here.’ I had to plan and move permanently.”

About the bank’s action she told the BBC “They didn’t protect me. I think that’s because they didn’t have the knowledge that these things make the difference.”

This is a further example which indicates organisations still have not fully got to grips with data protection law. What is particularly concerning regarding the above incident is the significant impact this data breach has had upon this lady who was forced to move home due to fear of her ex-husband attending her address after the bank accidentally disclosed her address to him. Incidents such as this serve as a further stark warning of the importance in ensuring measures are in place to ensure data is protected.

At Ben Hoare Bell LLP we have significant experience in claiming compensation for breaches of data protection.  If you wish to discuss a data breach please contact our Solicitors Richard Hardy richardhardy@benhoarebell.co.uk or Andrew Freckleton andrewfreckleton@benhoarebell.co.uk to discuss further.

Blog by Andrew Freckleton, Partner