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Thread: DWP/PIP data protection breach

  1. #1
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    DWP/PIP data protection breach

    Yesterday I received another letter telling me of my recent loss of PIP award. Upon opening that letter, there was a also a one page letter that has been sent from DWP to Newcastle Welfare centre. This letter, along with attached PIP letter, said "We understand you represent xxx, please find attached copy of letter".

    I have absolutely no relationship with any welfare centre, and I actually do not live anywhere near Newcastle, hence why the welfare centre has actually sent me the letter back (they stamped it too).

    However, I am pretty furious with this, and confused as to why this has happened, how can DWP send a letter to them, it's not even slightly a mistake, it's a huge mistake. The letter gives loads of really personal information too, as you can imagine!

    - Name, address
    - National Insurance
    - Disability
    - Other health issues

    Just wondering how I can complain about this, because this is completely unacceptable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    In the first instance you complain to the DWP, in writing is best.

    You can find a template complaints letter here:
    https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/raising-concerns/

    Personally I would go straight with an email based on that letter template to your local DWP complaints team:
    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...plaint-address

    They aim to reply to your complaint within 15 days, but give them a month before going to the next stage, which is-

    That template letter is from the Information Commissioner's Office which is where you escalate Data Protection complaints to if you don't get an adequate response.

    You can can raise your concern at the ICO by writing, phoning, or online (there's a form to fill in, save and email to them).
    https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

    Yours will be the third one down "Your personal information concerns".
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  3. #3
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    Two weeks ago I got a phone call back from the DWP just to say they are investigating, haven't heard anything since. But I have sent them in more information.

    I'm just hoping that they take it very seriously, but still struggling how to approach it all, because I still want DWP held responsible, especially after yet again losing my award. Should get a response next week, and see what they say. But will very likely be going through ICO and ICE after.

  4. #4
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    They’ve offered me a special payment of £100 today.

    I’m not sure if accepting this means I can’t take any potential legal action in the future?

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that's just a compensation payment for their error.

    Did they offer in writing, and if so what does it say about further action?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    I'm pretty sure that's just a compensation payment for their error.

    Did they offer in writing, and if so what does it say about further action?
    Hi - I turned down the £100, but after losing my PIP I kinda needed the money.

    They told me what I could do, but I asked for it to be escalated, but kind of get the feeling from the tone of her voice that they aren't taking this as serious as I thought they would. It's a pretty horrid breach and I don't think that £100 cuts it really, would prefer to hang it out, potentially legal action and potentially see them get fined too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Mmm, hopefully they may come back with an improved offer. In which case I would take it.

    I believe that the offer was/is a "Consolatory payment", which are usually between £25 and £500 (But can be lower or higher in exceptional circumstances).
    They are offered as 'consolation' for 'injustice' where they admit their error but you have not lost out financially because of their error.

    You can read more about them and other forms of "Financial Redress" in this DWP staff guide:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-for-dwp-staff

    Acceptance would not prevent you escalating your complaint to the ICE or Parliamentry and Health Service Ombudsman.
    (Addresses, phone numbers, e-mails in that linked Document).
    Or in this particular case the Information Commisioners Office, as above - (They don't give compensation just chastize/fine organisations).

    They are probably not taking it seriously because it is commonplace for them to send personal details to the wrong person.
    It's no skin off their individual noses, it just gets paid out of the central budget.

    They do have disciplinary procedures set out, but do they actually follow up complaints to find out who sent the documents to the wrong place and use them?
    See page 15 of this "3. Misdirected Post".
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1

    Take their compensation, when you think it's enough, and then escalate.
    Last edited by nukecad; 27-09-18 at 13:45.
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