2021's worst UK consumer protection breaches

13 Jun 2022

Due to the huge increase of online sales and working from home, 2021 could actually surpass 2018 for consumer protection breaches.

Back in 2018, we took a look at some of the biggest consumer protection breaches of that year. Boohoo’s time-sensitive advertising campaign and Facebook’s massive data privacy breach stood out as the largest and most high profile in a year of breaches.

Since 2018, much has changed across the world. The Covid pandemic has forced many of us to reflect on our lives and drastically change the way we live. Consumer protection breaches, however, can still take place when we’re all stuck inside our homes. In fact, with the huge increase of online sales, 2021 could actually surpass 2018 for consumer protection breaches.

Identity theft in 2021

Data Breach Hacking

2021 was the year when we became fully immersed in the digital age. Online shopping increased. Home working became commonplace. And social media sites like Facebook and Twitter continued to gain popularity as both platforms for social interaction and as selling sites to rival ebay and Amazon.

The increased reliance on digital technology coincided with a record number of data compromises recorded. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,789 data breaches recorded across the year. Theft of sensitive data such as personal details including individual’s names, addresses, and dates of birth alongside bank details and medical records recorded a huge jump compared to the previous year.

The Microsoft and Facebook data breaches of 2021

In March 2021, a Chinese hacking group called Hafnium attacked over 30,000 US based organisations. Government agencies, businesses, and local governments were the primary targets. Stolen passwords were used to gain administrative access to various accounts and malware was then installed to give the hackers control of the accounts and access to sensitive data.

In April 2021, Facebook was also the victim of a security breach when 533 million users’ personal information was exposed to hackers. Users’ names, dates of birth, locations, Facebook posts, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses were revealed during the breach. Although the security breach was discovered in 2021, a subsequent investigation revealed that the vulnerability had existed since 2019.

The importance of consumer protection in the digital age

Mother and kids researching trusted and approved tradesmen

At The CPA, we take consumer protection extremely seriously. Our extensive data base of trusted traders is now stored in a digital format and therefore needs to be protected from potential confidentiality breaches.

With this in mind, we have taken all the necessary precautions to protect both industry professionals and consumers from any security breaches. If you’d like to find out more about what The CPA can offer you, have a browse of some of our financial protection products and services to see how we can protect against any unforeseen circumstances.

Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team call 01462 850 064 or contact us online.