As parents, there are many things we give away in bucket loads – time, love, sometimes sanity – and also, data. We hand over all those things so trustingly. But when it comes to your data as a parent, what happens when it is sold on unlawfully? That is exactly what happened recently in the Bounty Data Breach.
I was recently informed of the Bounty Data Breach by Bott and Co Solicitors, and was gobsmacked to have learnt about it. It’s one thing a hacker stealing your data. Somehow a company that you know and trust taking your data and selling it on feels absolutely horrid. Especially when that data involves you, your pregnancy, and your children. And then taking it and turning it into money. There’s nothing about that which could possibly feel right.
What is the Bounty Data breach?
In April 2019 it was revealed by the Information Commissioner’s Office that Bounty (UK) Limited – owners of Bounty, the one stop pregnancy and parenting hub – had been unlawfully selling parents’ personal data to third party companies without their consent.
It sold a staggering 35 million records belonging to 14 million people.
Information was passed onwards for Bounty’s financial gain, leaving its trusting members vulnerable. It included personal addresses, email addresses and the stage that of pregnancy that expectant mothers are in. It also contained details on whether they’re a first time mum and also the name, gender and date of birth of children.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that is a terrible violation of personal data. I particularly shudder at the very personal nature of information about stages of pregnancy being sold on. Something like that should just not happen. Ever.
The data was unlawfully shared with Acxiom (a marketing and profiling agency), Equifax (a credit reference agency), Indicia (a marketing agency) and Sky (a telecommunications company) for the purposes of direct electronic marketing.
Have you been affected?
Have you signed up to Bounty and think you may be affected?
If you have previously provided your personal details to Bounty then it is likely that your personal data was sold to these companies for a profit and without your knowledge or authority.
You may have been receiving marketing emails unaware that it is a result of Bounty selling and sharing your data. Bounty has since been fined £400,000, but is this enough given the misuse of personal data?
So what should you do?
Bott and Co – a multiple award-winning No Win No Fee solicitors – have started a group legal action against Bounty as it has breached data protection laws. They want to compensate Bounty members whose information has been compromised.
If you think you may have been affected, you could be entitled to compensation. You can complete their initial enquiry form to take part in a class action against Bounty, and help them to seek justice for you, and parents just like you.
Frequently asked questions
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the following factors:
i) Whether your particular data was actually shared with third parties;
ii) How much of your data was shared? E.g. was it just your name and email address or was it your name, date of birth, email address, postal address, pregnancy status, whether you’re a first time mum and also the name, gender and date of birth of children.
iii) How many times your data has been shared (Bounty has confirmed that some peoples’ data was shared 17 times).
For the more serious data breaches we anticipate that the compensation will be several thousands of pounds.
What will it cost me?
It will cost you nothing at all to register your interest and receive updates from us. If later on, you join the group class action, then there will be nothing to pay upfront and we will act for you on a no-win-no-fee basis.
How long will it take to receive compensation?
At this stage it’s impossible to say how long the claim will take to resolve – it really depends on how co-operative Bounty are in dealing with people’s claims. If the claims are defended then it is likely that court proceedings would be necessary and that is likely to add many months to the time it would take to complete.
How do I know if I’m eligible for compensation?
At the moment nobody knows for sure whether they are one of the 14 million people who had their data shared with third parties. If you signed up with Bounty in the past then it’s very likely that you have been affected and you should submit your details in order to find out.
Think you may have been affected? Register your interest to take part Bott and Co’s class action by completing their initial claim enquiry form here.
*This is a commissioned post