Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and they can have serious consequences for individuals and organisations alike. If you have been the victim of a data breach in the UK, you may be entitled to compensation. However, deciding whether to settle a data breach claim can be a difficult decision. This guide will explore ‘what are the advantages and disadvantages of settling a data breach claim?’
We will also cover what a data breach claim is, how to know if you are eligible, what makes a good compensation settlement, how to calculate damages for non-material harm, when to get help with claiming compensation for a data breach, and the process of settling a data breach claim.
Should you have questions after reading, or you’d like to start a claim, you can contact our advisors at any time. We can help with various different types of data breach claims.
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What Is A Data Breach Claim, And How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the primary legislation governing data protection in the UK. The GDPR sets out the rights of individuals with regard to their personal data and the obligations of companies and organisations that collect and process that data.
Under the GDPR, individuals have the right to:
- Be informed about the collection and use of their personal data.
- Access their personal data and information about how it is being used.
- Have inaccurate or incomplete data corrected.
- Have their data erased.
- Restrict the processing of their data.
- Object to the processing of their data.
- Data portability – the right to have their data transferred to another organisation.
The UK GDPR is enshrined in law in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) which sets out rules and regulations regarding collecting, processing, and storing personal data. The DPA gives individuals the right to compensation if they have suffered damage as a result of a breach of the GDPR.
Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) individuals have the right to claim compensation for material and non-material harm resulting from a data breach caused by wrongful action of a data controller. Material harm refers to financial losses, such as money stolen from a bank account or expenses incurred due to the breach. Non-material harm refers to emotional distress, such as anxiety, stress, or humiliation.
To be eligible for a data breach claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the breach occurred and that it caused you harm. This harm may be material or non-material or both. You must also be able to identify the party responsible for the breach, such as a company or organisation acted wrongfully in exposing your personal data.
What Are The Advantages Of Settling A Data Breach Claim?
There are several advantages to settling a data breach claim. These include:
- Avoiding Court Proceedings – Settling a data breach claim can avoid going through court proceedings, which can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive.
- Certainty – Settling a data breach claim provides certainty to both parties about the outcome. You will know how much compensation you will receive, and the company responsible for the breach will know how much they need to pay.
- Compensation – Settling a data breach claim ensures that you receive compensation for the harm caused by the breach. This compensation can help to cover financial losses and non-material harm, such as emotional distress.
- Confidentiality – Settlement agreements can include confidentiality clauses, which can prevent the details of the settlement from being made public. This can be beneficial if you do not want the details of the breach to be widely known.
- Time and Cost Savings – Settling a data breach claim can save time and costs associated with legal fees and court proceedings.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Settling A Data Breach Claim?
There are also several disadvantages to settling a data breach claim. These include:
- Potentially Lower Compensation: The compensation offered in a settlement may be lower than what you would receive if the case went to court. This is because the company responsible for the breach may try to settle for a lower amount to avoid the cost of court proceedings.
- No Admissions of Liability: Companies may offer a settlement without admitting liability. This can be frustrating if you want the company to acknowledge their responsibility for the breach.
- Confidentiality: While confidentiality can be an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. If you want the details of the breach to be widely known, a confidentiality clause may prevent this.
- Limitations on Future Claims: Settlement agreements may include limitations on future claims. This means that you may not be able to make any further claims related to the breach in the future, even if new evidence emerges.
Weighing Up The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Settling A Data Breach Claim – What Makes A Good Compensation Settlement?
A good compensation settlement should reflect the harm caused by the breach. This includes both material and non-material damage. The settlement should also consider any future harm that may arise as a result of the breach.
In addition to compensating you for the harm caused by the breach, a reasonable settlement should also provide for any expenses you may have incurred due to the breach, such as legal fees or medical expenses.
How Can I Calculate Damages for Non-Material Harm?
Calculating damages for non-material harm can be difficult because emotional distress is difficult to quantify. However, there are a few factors that can help determine the amount of compensation you should receive for non-material harm:
- Severity of the harm: The severity of the harm caused by the breach is a key factor in determining the amount of compensation you should receive. If the breach caused significant emotional distress, you should receive a higher amount of compensation.n.
- Impact on daily life: The impact that the harm has had on your daily life is also a factor to consider. If the harm has affected your ability to work, socialise, or carry out day-to-day activities, you should receive a higher amount of compensation.
When to Get Help with Claiming Compensation for a Data Breach?
If you have been the victim of a data breach, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A skilled data breach lawyer will be able to advise you on your rights and help you navigate the claims process.
You should seek legal advice if:
- You have suffered financial loss as a result of the breach.
- You have suffered emotional distress as a result of the breach.
- You are unsure about your rights and whether you are eligible for compensation.
- You are unsure about the claims process and how to proceed.
What is the Process of Settling a Data Breach Claim?
The process of settling a data breach claim involves several steps:
- Identifying the responsible party – The first step in the process is to identify the party responsible for the breach. This may be a company, organisation, or individual.
- Gathering evidence – Once the responsible party has been identified, the evidence must be gathered to support the claim. This may include emails, documents, or witness statements.
- Calculating damages – The next step is to calculate the damages for material and non-material harm. You can try a data breach compensation calculator to get a very rough idea of compensation here. Or read our guide on how much compensation a data breach claim could be worth.
- Negotiating a settlement – Your lawyer will negotiate with the responsible party to reach a settlement agreement.
- Receiving compensation – Once the settlement has been agreed to, you should receive the compensation you are entitled to.
How to Make a No Win No Fee Claim?
Many solicitors who specialise in data breach cases offer a No Win No Fee service, which means that you do not have to pay any upfront legal fees. Instead, if your claim is successful, the solicitor will be paid a success fee. This type of service can provide peace of mind and ensure that you have access to legal representation even if you cannot afford to pay upfront.
Conditional fee agreements (CFAs) are the legal agreements that govern many No Win No Fee claims. These agreements outline the terms of the arrangement, including the success fee that the solicitor will receive if your claim is successful. The success fee is regulated by legislation to ensure that it is fair and reasonable in proportion to the amount of compensation awarded.
Our team of advisors can connect you with a solicitor who can help you make a successful claim and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to ask any questions or start your claim.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Settling A Data Breach Claim? Further Guidance
Enforcement For Data Breaches – Here, you can learn about enforcement action by the ICO.
Can A Data Breach Claim Be Settled Out Of Court? – Learn about out-of-court settlements here. This includes further insight into the advantages and disadvantages of settling a data breach claim.
Information On Identity Theft – Find out more about how identity theft could impact you.
What Is The Process For Settling A Data Breach Claim? – Insight into the claims process.
What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Data Breach Claim? – Learn about supplying relevant evidence for data breach claims.
Data Breaches – Advice from the ICO.