Sussex police officers file £1m claim against EQ Paymaster

British police officers have issued a compensation claim in the High Court against Paymaster 1836, the pensions section of Equiniti Group, in relation to a data breach which revealed their personal details.

The claim from the 474 officers, which has been issued by group action law firm Keller Lenkner UK, is estimated to be worth over £1m.

It has alleged that in August 2019, Equiniti distributed 750 annual pension benefit statements on behalf of Sussex Police force after receiving updated contact details for the force’s officers.

However, the group has stated that Equiniti failed to properly update their database, in turn resulting in pension statements being sent to the incorrect addresses.

This resulted in names, national insurance numbers, salary banding information, dates of birth, police service details, and pensions information of police officers being exposed during the data breach.

Keller Lenkner head of data breach, Kinglsey Hayes, commented: “A data breach of this scale has a significant impact on the individuals affected.

“Equiniti has thus far failed to recognise the seriousness of the data violation and the impact on the large number of police officers affected.

“The breach included highly confidential information which, placed in the wrong hands, could have significant consequences, including identity theft or other fraudulent activities resulting in significant financial losses.

“Equiniti had a duty to protect this information and should be held accountable for their failure to do so. They should compensate victims fairly.”

A police officer claimant added: “Equiniti’s actions have caused a great deal of distress to myself and my family, resulting in us having to review all of our accounts and changing our passwords.

“I removed myself from social media platforms to protect our privacy and joined a credit checking service, which I now feel the need to check on a regular basis.

“I have even considered the need to move house to protect myself. Knowing that my personal information may potentially be used to defraud me or others is deeply troubling."

The judge has ordered that the names of the claimants be kept confidential, in light of the privacy concerns emanating from the case.

Equiniti has been contacted by Pensions Age for comment.

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