In today’s digital age, data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and they can have a devastating impact on individuals and businesses. However, not everyone is able to make a claim for themselves. If someone you know has been the victim of a data breach, you may be wondering ‘Can I make a claim on behalf of someone else. In this guide, we’ll explore the process of making a data breach claim on behalf of someone else in the UK. Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue a claim. If you require further assistance or have any questions about data breach claims, please contact us via live chat, telephone, or contact form. Our experienced advisors are here to help.
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What Is A Data Breach Claim?
A data breach claim is a legal action taken by an individual or organisation whose personal or confidential data has been wrongfully exposed by another party. In the UK, data breach claims are governed by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). These regulations set out strict guidelines for how personal data should be handled, processed and protected by organisations. If an organisation fails to meet these standards and a breach occurs, they may be held liable for any damage caused.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) is the UK’s independent regulatory body responsible for enforcing data protection legislation. If you believe your personal data or someone else’s has been breached, you could report it to the ICO. However, they do not usually help people claim compensation. Therefore, you might want to get legal advice if you’re intending on making a claim.
How Can A Data Breach Happen?
A data breach can occur in many different ways, and it is often caused by a combination of human error and technological vulnerabilities. Some common examples include hacking attacks, phishing scams, malware infections, insider threats, and physical theft of devices containing sensitive data. Hackers may exploit security weaknesses in systems and networks to gain access to data, while phishing scams and malware can trick users into revealing their login credentials or downloading malicious software. Insider threats, such as employees or contractors with access to sensitive data, can intentionally or accidentally cause a data breach, and physical theft of devices can also result in data exposure.
Why Is It Important To Make A Claim?
If your personal data has been breached, you may have suffered financial losses or emotional distress. Making a claim can help you recover compensation for these damages and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. In addition, making a claim can help raise awareness of data breaches and encourage organisations to take data protection more seriously.
Who Can Make A Data Breach Claim On Behalf Of Someone Else?
If the victim of a data breach is unable to make a claim themselves, such as in the case of a minor or someone who lacks mental capacity, a litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf. A litigation friend is someone who is appointed by the court to act in the best interests of the person who cannot make a claim themselves.
A litigation friend can be a family member, friend, or professional such as a solicitor. They must have no personal interest in the outcome of the case and be able to make decisions on behalf of the claimant.
In the UK, the time limit for making a data breach claim is typically six years from the date of the breach. However, sometimes this limitation period is shorter, especially if the claim involves a public body or a human rights breach.
How To Make A Data Breach Claim On Behalf Of Someone Else
- Gather evidence – To make a strong claim, you will need evidence of the breach and its impact on the victim. This may include emails, correspondence, and any other documentation relating to the breach.
- Assess damages – You will need to assess the financial and emotional impact of the breach on the victim. This may include calculating any financial losses and documenting any emotional distress suffered.
- File a claim – To file a claim, you will need to complete the relevant paperwork and submit it to the court. You may also need to serve notice of the claim on the defendant.
- Negotiate a settlement – Once the claim has been filed, negotiations will take place between the parties involved. If a settlement is reached, the case will be closed. If not, it may proceed to court.
It could be a good idea to consider using data breach solicitors when making claims for data breach compensation. They could help take the stress out of making a claim for someone else.
What Damages Can I Claim?
If you make a successful data breach claim on behalf of someone else, you may be entitled to claim for a variety of different damages, including financial losses, emotional distress, and other damages. The types of damages that you may be able to claim will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
Financial losses could include expenses incurred as a direct result of the data breach, such as the cost of cancelling credit cards, bank charges, or any losses incurred as a result of identity theft. These expenses can be easily quantified and should be documented with receipts, bank statements, and any other relevant evidence.
Emotional distress, on the other hand, is a non-material damage that can be harder to quantify. Examples of emotional distress could include anxiety, stress, depression, and other psychological harm caused by the breach. In the UK, the Judicial College Guidelines provides a general guideline for non-material damages for personal injury claims, which includes compensation guideline brackets for psychological injury ranging from £1,540 to £115,730, depending on the severity of the harm caused. These are only very rough guidelines, however. It could be wise to get an estimate from an advisor on how much compensation you could claim.
Other damages that may be claimed include loss of reputation or damage to business interests, particularly in cases where the breach has impacted a business or organisation.
How No Win No Fee Claims Work
Making a data breach claim on behalf of someone else can be costly, but there are many solicitors who operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you will only be charged for their services if the claim is successful, and there are no upfront costs or fees to worry about.
The process of making a No Win No Fee claim typically begins with an initial consultation, during which you will be able to discuss the circumstances of the breach with a solicitor. If the solicitor believes that there is a solid case to be made, they will draw up a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which sets out the terms of the agreement.
Once the CFA is signed, the solicitor will begin the claims process, which may involve gathering evidence, negotiating with the defendant, and representing you in court if necessary. If the claim is successful, the solicitor will take a success fee, which is capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. This means you would always receive the majority of the compensation awarded.
Start Your Claim
Making a data breach claim on behalf of someone else can be complex, but it is important to hold companies and organisations accountable for their actions and to ensure that those who have been affected are compensated fairly. If you would like to discuss your options for making a claim, please contact one of our advisors via live chat, telephone or contact form. Our panel of No Win No Fee data breach solicitors are here to help.
- Call an advisor 0800 408 7827
- Contact us via our contact form.
- Speak with an advisor using live chat.
Can I Make A Data Breach Claim On Behalf Of Someone Else? Further Guidance
Finally, we have provided further insight into data breach claims. Below, you will find some useful links to external resources and other useful guides on our site. We hope you find them helpful.
How To Make A Data Protection Complaint – The ICO provides advice on how to complain about the use or misuse of your personal data.
Official Information – You should be able to access your own data. Find out how to request this and what your rights are here.
Data Protection Rights For Data Subjects – You can find further details about your rights relating to personal data here.
Data Breach Solicitors – General guidance on data breach solicitors and how they could assist you in making data breach claims.
List Of Data Breach Compensation Amounts – Learn more about how to calculate compensation for a data breach claim.
Personal Data Has Been Breached – Finally, if your personal data has been wrongfully exposed, this guide could help.