A business owner, whose private data was among thousands of pages of information given to loyalist suspects, said he felt "traumatized" by the violation.
The information was contained on a USB stick that appeared to have been accidentally left behind a camera returned to Loyalists under investigation by the police.
The device had previously been removed from a person or persons who were the subject of an investigation by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force
– Some encrypted, others easily accessible – included information on the Internet traffic of members of the public as well as emails, server addresses and passwords.
A Northern Ireland business owner whose contact details were in the data breach. He was told how and why information that he believed was certain had been obtained.
He said that under normal circumstances he would "pick up the phone and ring 999", but in this case, he app
"I had to call staff so that we could secure and change all our passwords, "he said.
"We are a small local business. This kind of disruption is financially expensive, but emotionally, I felt like I was hit by a train. I want answers as to why this data was collected and for what purpose.
"The fact that we were able to access our private information is already quite devastating. ] Some people affected by the data breach, considered one of the most serious in the history of the North, are preparing to take legal action against the PSNI
Niall Murphy, a lawyer specializing in human rights, partner of the law KRW. stated that he would prepare a prior action for a number of clients.
"We have been inundated with instructions from people who fear that their information may have been leaked to Loyalist paramilitaries," Murphy said.
"This goes from various sources concerned, including individuals who have pursued an earlier dispute over their personal data previously disclosed to Loyalist paramilitaries from information retrieved from Stoneyford's Orange Hall and also to the Highfield Estate. in Belfast, 19659002] "We have also received instructions from the companies concerned that their private business communications have been illegally accessed by PSNI.
"It should be emphasized that none of these persons or entities has been the subject of a properly executed legal search warrant, exercised in accordance with legal warranties."
"We are preparing advance correspondence to these issues and will be filing a complaint with the Police Ombudsman and the Office of the Information Commissioner.
" We expect the PSNI to contact immediately informing people of the risk to their personal safety, if their details were leaked to Loyalist paramilitaries, as obvious. "