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Virgin Media could face 'significant legal action' over latest data breach

Nine hundred thousand customers may have been affected by a data breach of their personal details.

Posted on 06 March 2020

Leading data protection lawyers have said that Virgin Media could face significant legal action after it revealed yesterday that the personal details of 900,000 customers and potential customers had been accessed without permission.
In a press statement concerning the incident, Virgin Media have stated that they recently became aware that one of its marketing databases was incorrectly configured  so allowing unauthorised access.  While the database has now been shut down, it seems to have been accessible  “from at least 19 April 2019”. Virgin Media confirmed that they believe that the database was accessed “on at least one occasion” but added “we do not know the extent of the access”.
Virgin Media stated that the personal details accessed may have included customers’ names, home addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses as well as technical and product information (including requests made using the Virgin Media website) as well as, in a small number of cases, customers’  dates of birth.  They stated that the personal details disclosed did not include customers financial details, such as bank account details or credit card information) or any passwords.
Sean Humber and Gene Matthews from law firm Leigh Day, who act for hundreds of clients whose personal details have been disclosed without their permission as a result of data breaches, both commented on the incident.
Sean Humber, data breach solicitor from law firm Leigh Day, said:

“This is clearly a significant data breach given that almost a million people have been affected.  It is also worrying that customers’ personal details were available for so long without Virgin Media realising.  It is essential that there is now a thorough investigation of the data breach in order to identify what went wrong, confirm for each affected customer what personal information was accessed and assess the consequences of the unauthorised disclosure.  Only then will it be possible to properly judge the seriousness of this incident.”
Gene Matthews, data breach solicitor from law firm Leigh Day, added:

“As Virgin Media themselves accept, this data breach puts affected customers at risk of being targeted by criminals or receiving nuisance marketing communications.  Those affected are likely to have claims for compensation for the loss of control of their personal information as well as any anxiety and distress caused or financial losses suffered."
If you are a Virgin Media customer who has been affected by the data breach and wish more to receive more information about bringing a claim for compensation then please complete our form.

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