If you’re wondering ‘Can I make a data breach claim in the UK?’ you may be doing so because you’ve been a victim of a data breach. In today’s world, where almost everything is digital, the risk of personal data being exposed or compromised has increased significantly. Fortunately, there are laws in place that protect personal data, and you may be entitled to compensation if your personal information has been exposed without your consent.
The unauthorised exposure of your personal data can cause harm, including financial loss, identity theft, and psychological distress. If you have suffered harm as a result of a data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
This guide will explain the eligibility criteria for claiming data breach compensation in the UK and will give you some guidance on how to begin data breach claims. It will provide you with a clear understanding of the process involved in making a data breach claim, including the evidence you will need to support your claim.
If you think you may have a data breach claim, don’t hesitate to read on and contact an advisor if you have any questions or would like to begin a No Win No Fee claim. Your personal data is valuable, and you have a right to be compensated for any harm caused by its unauthorised exposure.
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What Is A Data Breach Claim In The UK?
A data breach claim is a legal action taken by an individual whose personal data has been exposed or compromised due to the wrongful actions of a data controller, causing them harm. In the UK, there are laws that protect personal data, such as the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These laws require organisations that collect and process personal data to take appropriate measures to ensure its security and protect it from unauthorised access or disclosure.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing these laws and regulating the processing of personal data in the UK. However, the ICO does not provide compensation for individuals who a data breach has harmed.
Under UK law, those who wrongful actions by a data controller have harmed could be eligible to claim compensation for both material and non-material damages caused by a data breach that exposes their personal data. Material damages include financial losses, while non-material damages can include emotional distress or reputational harm.
The next section will cover the eligibility criteria and evidence needed for claiming data breach compensation. It is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the claimant, meaning they must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a data breach has occurred and that it has caused them harm.
Can I Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK? Eligibility Criteria Explained
To be eligible to claim compensation for a data breach in the UK, the claimant must be able to demonstrate that they have suffered harm as a result of the breach. This could include financial losses, identity theft, psychological distress, or damage to their reputation. Additionally, the claimant must be able to show that the breach occurred due to the negligence or wrongful actions of the data controller.
For example, if a bank suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of its customers due to a failure to implement adequate security measures, affected customers may be eligible to claim compensation for any resulting financial losses or psychological distress.
Another example could be if a company’s employee accidentally sent an email containing sensitive personal data to the wrong recipient, causing harm to the individual whose data was exposed. The affected individual could potentially make a claim for compensation.
It is also important to note that there is a time limit for making a data breach claim under the Limitation Act 1980. The claimant must bring their claim within six years of the date of the breach, typically, however, some claims have shorter time limits.
To support their claim, the claimant will need to provide evidence of the breach and the harm suffered. This may include documentation of the breach, such as an email or letter from the data controller notifying them of the breach, or evidence of any financial losses or psychological distress suffered as a result of the breach. It is advisable to seek legal advice and support from a specialist data breach solicitor when making a claim to ensure that all necessary evidence is obtained and presented effectively.
How Could A Data Breach Happen?
Personal data can be exposed through a variety of wrongful actions by data controllers within organisations. These actions could include intentional or accidental data breaches, cyber attacks, employee negligence, or inadequate security measures.
Intentional data breaches occur when an employee or data controller deliberately accesses and exposes personal data without authorisation. This could include the sale of personal data for financial gain, or the use of personal data for personal or professional gain.
Accidental data breaches can occur due to human error, such as sending an email containing personal data to the wrong recipient, or leaving a laptop or USB drive containing personal data on public transport.
Cyber attacks involve the malicious exploitation of vulnerabilities in an organisation’s IT systems to gain unauthorised access to personal data. These attacks can include phishing scams, malware or ransomware attacks, or hacking into a company’s network.
Employee negligence can lead to the exposure of personal data, for example, if an employee fails to follow data protection policies or procedures, or if they access personal data without a legitimate reason.
Inadequate security measures can also lead to the exposure of personal data, such as failing to encrypt personal data or not implementing access controls to limit who can access personal data.
It is the responsibility of data controllers to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect personal data and prevent unauthorised access or exposure. Failure to do so could result in a data breach claim being made against the organisation.
Calculating Damages For Data Breach Claims In The UK
Calculating damages for data breach claims can be a complex process, and the amount of compensation awarded will depend on the specific circumstances of the breach and the harm suffered.
When calculating damages for non-material harm, such as emotional distress or damage to reputation, the courts will consider a range of factors, including the severity and duration of the harm suffered, the impact on the claimant’s daily life and relationships, and any psychological or physical symptoms experienced. The figures in the Judicial College Guidelines provide a framework for assessing damages for non-material harm, and can be used as a reference point by the courts when making a decision on compensation.
For material damages, such as financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the breach, the claimant will need to provide evidence of the losses suffered, such as bank statements or invoices. The amount of compensation awarded will be based on the actual losses suffered by the claimant, including any future losses that are reasonably foreseeable.
It is important to seek legal advice from a specialist data breach solicitor when making a claim for compensation, as they can provide guidance on the evidence required and the likely amount of compensation that could be awarded based on the specific circumstances of the breach and the harm suffered.
Can I Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK On A No Win No Fee Basis?
A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a No Win No Fee agreement, is a legal funding arrangement where a solicitor agrees to take on a client’s case and cover the legal costs, in exchange for a percentage of the compensation awarded if the case is successful.
Under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, solicitors are required to provide clear and transparent information on the fees and charges associated with the agreement, including any success fees that may be payable if the case is successful. This ensures that clients are fully informed about the costs involved before entering into the agreement.
A No Win No Fee service can provide a low-risk option for individuals who have suffered a data breach, as it means that if the case is unsuccessful, they will not typically have to pay their lawyer. This can be particularly beneficial for those who may not have the financial resources to pursue a claim through traditional legal funding arrangements.
If you have been the victim of a data breach and are considering making a claim for compensation, it is important to seek legal advice to obtain guidance on the best funding options for your case. Get in touch with an advisor today to be connected with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Further Information On Making A Data Breach Claim In The UK
Can I claim compensation? – Guidance from the ICO.
Citizens Advice – Data breaches and compensation
Gov.uk – Making a data protection complaint UK Parliament.
Claiming Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Insurance Companies – Learn whether you could make a claim for this type of data breach.
Can I Claim For Stress Due To A Data Breach? Learn more about stress and data breach claims.
Top Tips For Making A Pharmacy Data Breach Claim – Learn about claiming if a pharmacy breached your data.