A DISGRUNTLED Morrison’s employee leaked the personal details of thousands of his colleagues in 2014.
After the data breach, many began legal action, claiming compensation for distress caused by the leak.
What is the Morrisons data leak?
Andrew Skelton, a senior internal auditor at the retailer’s Bradford headquarters, posted the details of thousands of workers online in 2014.
He sent information about staff salaries, bank details and National Insurance numbers to several newspapers and posted it on data sharing websites.
The breach cost the supermarket giant more than £2m to rectify.
He then tried to cover his tracks by using a colleague’s details to set up a fake email account.
In July 2015 Skelton was found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data and jailed for eight years.
After he was convicted David Holderness, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Skelton was motivated by a grudge against the company.
“Andrew Skelton’s motive appears to have been a personal grievance over a previous incident where he was accused of dealing in legal highs at work,” he said.
How many employees were affected by the breach?
Litigation was launched after the payroll data of more than 100,000 employees was leaked.
A group of 5,518 former and current employees said this exposed them to the risk of identity theft and potential financial loss .
They said Morrisons was responsible for breaches of privacy, confidence and data protection laws and are seeking compensation for the distress caused.
The employees are seeking compensation for the distress caused[/caption]
Nick McAleenan, a partner and data privacy law specialist at JMW Solicitors, who is representing the claimants, has described it as a “classic David and Goliath case”.
“It cannot be right that there is no legal recourse where employee information has been handed to one of the largest companies in the UK and then leaked on such a large scale, in such circumstances,” he said in statement before the latest hearing.
What is going to happen?
A legal battle for has now reached the Court of Appeal.
Lawyers have said the case is the first mass data leak action of its kind in the UK.
The proceedings before three judges in London on Tuesday follow a ruling against Morrisons last year on the issue of liability in the first data leak class action in the UK.
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The supermarket giant said it could not be held directly or vicariously liable for the criminal misuse of the data, and that any other conclusion would be grossly unjust.
But a High Court judge found in December that liability had been established.
Morrisons is to challenge the decision at a hearing before the Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Bean and Lord Justice Flaux.