Employee data leak sparks legal action against Manchester United

Employee data leak sparks legal action against Manchester United

A data breach at Manchester United Football Club that reportedly exposed the confidential details of its permanent employees has led to a potential lawsuit of up to £100,000.

In an incident that took place in March 2018, over 160 of the Club’s casual employees working across its stadium, catering, and hospitality departments received a file via email containing the personal data of its permanent employees.

This includes sensitive data such as names, addresses, national insurance numbers, wage slips, pension benefits and tax contributions.

The incident was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) back in 2018, but the employees affected by the data leak have since launched a claim with the High Court. Their argument emphasises the potential mishandling of their personal information as well as the negligence they perceive of the club’s approach to safeguarding their data.

According to media coverage, a representative of the football club had emphasised that they take the data privacy of their employees very seriously and that measures have been taken to prevent any breaches like this in the future.

Senior Data Protection and Privacy Solicitor, Becky White, stresses the importance of having robust data protection policies in place:

This incident highlights several important data protection issues. As the HR function within an organisation manages considerable amounts of personal data relating to prospective, current and former staff, it is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and liabilities under data protection laws and that they manage human resource data responsibly.

The incident also serves as a reminder of the need for organisations to implement proper policies and procedures with regards to email practices, particularly when sending bulk emails, and encouraging their staff to follow good email practices to reduce the likelihood of this kind of avoidable data breach reoccurring.

Businesses and HR teams should ensure they have robust data protection policies in place and that regular security and data protection awareness training is offered to help staff better understand the role they play in protecting any personal information the business collects and processes.

As an employer, taking steps to prevent a data breach is crucial. Our data protection and privacy solicitors can steer you in the right direction and help you to put policies in place to ensure that your employees’ data is safeguarded.

About our expert

Becky White

Becky White

Senior Data Protection & Privacy Solicitor
Becky is an experienced data protection and privacy lawyer who qualified in 2002. She supports clients with navigating data protection compliance and provides practical commercial advice related to privacy laws.  

What next?

Please leave us your details and we’ll contact you to discuss your situation and legal requirements. There’s no charge for your initial consultation, and no-obligation to instruct us. We aim to respond to all messages received within 24 hours.

Your data will only be used by Harper James Solicitors. We will never sell your data and promise to keep it secure. You can find further information in our Privacy Policy.

Our offices

A national law firm

A national law firm

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Head Office

Floor 5, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Regional Spaces

Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
1st Floor, Dearing House, 1 Young St, Sheffield, S1 4UP
White Building Studios, 1-4 Cumberland Place, Southampton, SO15 2NP
A national law firm

To access legal support from just £145 per hour arrange your no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your business requirements.

Make an enquiry