Charity worker fined for sending work home in breach of data protection laws

Robert Morrisey, a charity worker sent spreadsheets with sensitive personal data to his personal email address without the knowledge of his employer the Rochdale Connections Trust.

The personal data included full names, dates of birth, telephone numbers and medical information. Mr. Morrisey admitted unlawfully obtaining personal data in breach of Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. He was given a conditional discharge for two years and was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,845.25, as well as a victim surcharge of £15.

Steve Eckersley, Head of Enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office, which brought the prosecution, said:

People have a right to expect that when they share their personal information with an organisation, it will be handled properly and legally. That is especially so when it is sensitive personal data.

People whose jobs give them access to this type of information need to realise that just because they can access it, that doesn’t mean they should. They need to have a valid legal reason for doing so. Copying sensitive personal information without the necessary permission isn’t a valid reason.”

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