Reported data leaks doubled in Netherlands last year

Data theft
stock photo. (stock photo)

Last year nearly 21 thousand data leaks were reported to the Dutch Data Protection Authority, more than double than the number of leaks reported in 2017 and three times more than were reported in 2016, ANP reports.

That does not necessarily mean that there were more leaks - the Authority can't say how many leaks went unreported. Organizations that discover a leak are obliged to report it to the privacy watchdog as soon as possible, but this does not mean everyone does so or that all leaks are discovered.

In more than half of last year's cases the leak involved data of just one person, and often that information reached the wrong person because letters or emails were sent to the wrong address. According to the watchdog, it rarely happens that a lot of data is leaked at once. When that happens, it most often happens through hacking or phishing.

The most reports of data leaks came from the healthcare- and financial sectors last year.

New privacy rules - the General Data Protection Regulation - were implemented in Europe in May last year. The Authority saw a noticeable increase in reports since then. "This may be due to the increased attention for the General Data Protection Regulation", the watchdog said. 

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