What Happens When There is a Data Breach?


Sometimes data leaks in the dispatch of mail occur. Even if apparently no reliable figures are available and the number of unreported cases is probably enormous, it is absolutely certain that data mishaps occur repeatedly in public and nonpublic organizations. We know this from the incidents documented in Germany by the Munich-based “Data Protection Project”. Most result from data leaks, hacker attacks, willful data theft and espionage and improper document disposal.

Wrong Account Statements Mailed to Wrong Recipients

The promotional institution of the Bayerische Landesbank (Bavarian State Bank) sent thousands of account statements to the wrong recipients – probably due to a machine error- which could have been avoided if the organization had taken mail compliance seriously.

Mechanical Enveloping Error Leads to Disclosure of Personal Data

A man from Dortmund received a mail package containing six letters from an employment agency and a family payments section addressed to other people. The contents of the letters were indicative of the personal circumstances and the income of the people concerned. According to the sender, a mechanical enveloping error was responsible.

Clinic Accidently Mails Wrong Envelopes

A clinic in Brandenburg wrongly enveloped time tickets and sent them to the wrong people. As a result, the wrong recipient received information on the bank and salary data of colleagues

Banking Giant Faces Fines for Major Breach

A major breach that marked the financial services sector in the UK was the Santander scandal in 2010. This Spanish banking giant admitted to sending up to 35,000 customers’ bank statements to the wrong people. The bank faced very heavy fines for disclosing such highly sensitive personal information to third parties. This failure to adhere to data compliance regulations had, a still has today, a major impact on the banking industry in the UK and highlighted the growing need for the implementation of regulatory mail compliance laws.