What can happen if an employee unlawfully copies personal data of clients and then uses that information in a new role? 

This type of conduct can have serious consequences as explained in the attached article.

Rebecca Gray worked for a recruitment agency. Gray emailed personal data of about 100 clients to her personal email address. Gray left the business shortly after and started a new role with a rival business. She then used the information from the list that she had emailed to her personal email address, to get in touch with the clients.  

Not many employees are aware that unlawfully obtaining data is a criminal offence. 

Gray was prosecuted and pleaded guilty. She was fined £200 and has to pay prosecution costs of £214 and a £30 victim surcharge. 

Employers often suffer financial harm as a result of this type of conduct. There may be other legal remedies available to employers, for example obtaining an injunction or claiming damages. You can read more about your options here.

Law for the online generation starts here.