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It has been reported by the Irish News that the PSNI Paramilitary Crime Task Force left a pen drive containing personal data in a computer that was returned to loyalists under investigation. The drive contained personal data gathered from a number of internet service providers. Details for individuals such as email addresses, passwords and internet traffic between users were included. Several legitimate Northern Irish businesses had their email addresses and passwords leaked as well.

This is an incredibly serious data breach. There have been investigations launched by the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman for Norther Ireland and the Information Commissioner’s Office. A number of the individuals and business owners have been informed of the breach by the PSNI. To date the pen drive has not been recovered. As the breach occurred in the new era of GDPR the PSNI will have had increased obligations in terms of reporting the breach to the ICO and to the individuals if there is a significant threat posed to them by the breach. If you have suffered a loss as a result of the breach please contact our offices for advice.

Edwards & Co. specialises in helping local businesses and organisations becoming GDPR compliant. Contact Claire Wilson for more information.