Legal Q&A: Data breaches and the implications for employers

What are the implications for employers following the recent High Court Case involving a data breach by a Morrisons supermarket employee? 

The High Court has just given Judgment in a very important group litigation claim by members of staff against the supermarket giant Morrisons. The disgruntled employee breached data protection by publicising employee’s personal details on the Internet. For his wilful act he has received a prison sentence but Morrisons have been found vicariously liable for his illegal acts as they were carried out in the course of his employment. This is despite the fact that the disgruntled employee’s intent was designed solely to damage his employers, Morrison’s’ business.

Whilst Morrisons have been given leave to Appeal, a further Hearing will take place for the High Court to decide what amount each affected employee should receive by way of compensation.

With the changes under the General Data Protection Regulations effective from May 25th 2018 this is another important warning how the employer can be held responsible for the acts, lawful and unlawful, of its employees.

To speak to Tim Thompson about any aspect of Employment Law call 01733 295 606 or email tim.thompson@hegarty.co.uk