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'Our Aim is to Help'

There were thirty four breaches of peoples' personal data in the two months leading up to 30 June this year according to the Office of the Data Protection Authority.

Just under three-quarters occurred when personal data was accidentally sent to the wrong person by email. Other self-reported breaches in that period included three of inappropriate access, three cyber incidents, two unauthorised disclosure, one unauthorised access and one loss of data. 

This is the second group of statistics covering the Covid-19 lockdown period and the figures show a similar number of breaches reported since collation of the data began two years ago.  

The breaches were across a variety of sectors, five from public authorities, four from fiduciaries and three each from banking, insurance and retail or wholesale establishments. Charities and not for profit organisations, education and training organisations, investment organisations and legal practices all reported two each with the remaining eight split across five other sectors. 

Data Protection Commissioner Emma Martins says their aim is to help organisations to handle personal data correctly and prevent breaches from happening in the first place. 
‘We would like to offer our thanks to those businesses and organisations that have managed to continue to fulfil their statutory duties under the recent challenging circumstances. Whilst it is largely reassuring that the number of reported breaches is remaining consistent, perhaps it’s time to ask organisations that do not routinely report to us to have another look at their procedures to ensure that there aren’t breaches occurring that we should be advised of.’  

She added that the Authority’s mandate is to educate and engage not just enforce. 
‘Our aim is to help and empower all organisations, large or small, to handle personal data correctly because first and foremost we want to prevent breaches from happening in the first place. If we are going to do that effectively we need to have good knowledge and understanding of the nature of incidents and how often they are occurring.

'That in turn will enable us to provide more relevant and targeted support and guidance to those most at risk. Now that lockdown has eased, our fortnightly drop-in sessions to support our local regulated community are starting again on 22 July so local businesses and organisations can visit our offices and meet with a member of staff for advice.

'We are committed to building a culture of compliance for the Bailiwick; one that recognises that we’re all only human and we all make mistakes, but by learning from those mistakes and improving how we work, we can strive for better levels of data protection, benefiting our community and our economy.'

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