Maurice Blackburn welcomes decision to pay compensation to asylum seekers for data breach

27 January 2021
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has today welcomed the decision of the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner that the Federal Government must pay compensation to asylum seekers whose privacy was significantly breached by the Department of Home Affairs.

The decision comes after the Department of Home Affairs published in error a report on their website in 2014 containing the personal information of individuals who were in immigration detention. Maurice Blackburn acts for one of the asylum seekers impacted.

Maurice Blackburn head of Social Justice Jennifer Kanis said today’s decision was a major win for all asylum seekers impacted by the privacy breach who suffered significantly as a result of what happened.

“While we are not able to discuss the specifics of our client’s case, there is no denying that this privacy breach had a devastating impact and has caused significant distress that our client continues to live with,” Ms Kanis said.

“While no amount of money can ever undo the harm caused, we are pleased to see the Commissioner has ordered the Department of Home Affairs to pay compensation to those impacted – this will provide much needed relief to help the health and mental wellbeing of our client and the many others who have suffered so much as a result of this breach.

“On behalf of our firm we offer our congratulations to everyone who assisted in this pro bono effort to bring about this tremendous outcome for all those impacted,” she said.

Media inquiries: Jade Knight at Maurice Blackburn jknight@mauriceblackburn.com.au or 0417 969 438

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