Welcome to this guide which explains ‘What is the GDPR and how does it impact data breach claims in the UK?’ The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation from the EU that was implemented in May 2018 to enhance data protection for individuals within the EU. The GDPR applies to all organisations that process the personal data of EU residents, regardless of where the organisation is based. The UK GDPR was enshrined into law in the Data Protection Act 2018, which replaced the Data Protection Act 1998. This law governs how personal data is collected, processed, and stored, and it outlines the rights of individuals in relation to their personal data.
If your personal data has been wrongfully exposed and harmed, the UK GDPR allows you to claim damages. This includes compensation for financial losses, emotional distress, and any other losses you may have suffered as a result of the data breach.
If you have been a victim of a data breach and are looking to make a claim, our panel of data breach solicitors can help you make a No Win No Fee claim. We understand the sensitive and complex nature of data breach claims, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
To find out more about how we can help you make a claim, please get in touch with us via telephone on 0800 408 7827, via live chat or contact form. Our expert team is always on hand to provide you with the support and guidance you need.
What Is The GDPR, And How Has It Impacted UK Data Breach Law?
The GDPR is a regulation designed to strengthen the protection of personal data in the EU. It applies to all organisations that process personal data of EU residents, regardless of where the organisation is based. The regulation defines personal data as any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual, such as their name, address, email address, or IP address.
Therefore, GDPR has had a significant impact on UK data breach law. It provides individuals with increased rights over their personal data, such as the right to access, rectify, and erase their data. It also requires organisations to implement appropriate measures to ensure the security of personal data.
If an organisation fails to comply with the GDPR and a breach occurs, individuals may be entitled to compensation if the breach exposes their personal data and causes them financial or non-financial harm. Financial harm can include losses such as identity theft, bank fraud, or any other direct financial losses resulting from the breach. Additionally, non-financial harm can include emotional distress, embarrassment, or reputational damage.
In order to make a compensation claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the organisation responsible for the breach acted wrongfully, failed to comply with the GDPR and that you suffered harm as a result. This can be a complex process, which is why it’s important to seek legal advice from a specialist data breach solicitor.
We work with a panel of expert data breach solicitors who can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
How Could An Organisation Breach The UK GDPR?
There are a variety of ways in which an organisation could breach the GDPR and cause harm to an individual. Here are a few hypothetical scenarios:
- A healthcare institution fails to implement appropriate security measures to protect patient data, resulting in a data breach that exposes sensitive medical information. This could cause harm to patients by leading to identity theft, discrimination, or reputational damage.
- An online retailer suffers a data breach that exposes customers’ names, addresses, and credit card details. This could cause harm to customers by leading to financial losses such as unauthorised transactions on their credit cards, or the theft of their identity.
- A social media platform fails to obtain adequate consent from users before collecting and processing their personal data. This could cause harm to users by violating their privacy rights and exposing their personal information to unauthorised third parties.
- An employer collects and processes employees’ personal data without a legitimate reason, and fails to implement appropriate security measures to protect that data. This could cause harm to employees by leading to identity theft, discrimination, or reputational damage.
How Is The GDPR Enforced?
Now we’ve answered the question of ‘what is the GDPR and how does it impact data breach claims in the UK?’ let us move on to how organisations could be punished for breaches of GDPR.
The GDPR is enforced in the UK by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent regulatory body responsible for upholding information rights and data protection laws. The ICO has the power to investigate potential breaches of the GDPR, and can take enforcement action against organisations found to be in breach, including imposing fines and sanctions.
If you believe that your personal data has been subject to a data breach, the first step is to check whether the organisation responsible for the breach has reported it to the ICO. Under the GDPR, organisations must report certain types of data breaches to the ICO within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.
How Do I Know Whether I Can Make GDPR Data Breach Claims In The UK?
You can also check whether you are eligible to claim compensation for the breach. To do this, you should consider whether the breach resulted in harm to you, either financially or non-financially. Financial harm can include losses such as identity theft, bank fraud, or any other direct financial losses resulting from the breach. Non-financial harm can include emotional distress, embarrassment, or reputational damage.
If you believe that you have suffered harm as a result of a data breach, you should seek legal advice from one of our advisors. They will be able to assess your case and advise you on whether you have a valid claim for compensation
How Much Compensation Could I Claim For A GDPR Breach That’s Harmed Me?
In a data breach case, you could claim damages for a range of losses resulting from the breach. This could include financial losses such as the cost of replacing compromised credit cards or bank accounts, losses resulting from identity theft, or any other direct financial losses resulting from the breach. You could also claim for non-financial losses such as emotional distress, anxiety, or reputational damage.
In order to assess the value of any psychological injuries suffered as a result of a data breach, legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which provide guidance on the amount of compensation that may be awarded for various types of injuries. The guidelines take into account the severity of the injury, the impact it has had on the individual’s life, and any ongoing psychological treatment or therapy required. You can see rough figures below. However, your compensation could vary significantly from the figures we’ve taken from the JCG.
- Less severe psychiatric harm – £1,540 to £5,860
- Moderate psychiatric harm – £5,860 to £19,070
- Severe psychiatric harm – £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately severe psychiatric harm – £19,070 to £54,830
If you are considering making a claim for compensation following a data breach, it’s important to speak to an advisor to get personalised guidance on how much your claim could be worth. Our advisors can provide expert guidance on the types of damages you may be eligible to claim for, and can help you to calculate the potential value of your claim based on your individual circumstances.
Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim For A GDPR Data Breach?
Making a No Win No Fee claim for data breach compensation could be the most viable option for individuals seeking legal redress. Under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you won’t be required to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor, and they will only be paid if your claim is successful.
The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 regulates the use of CFAs in England and Wales, and sets out the rules for how success fees can be charged. Success fees are a percentage of the compensation awarded to you and are used to cover the costs of your legal representation.
This means that you can be confident that you will receive the majority of the compensation awarded to you.
If you believe that you may have a claim for data breach compensation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to pursue your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Furthermore, our team of experienced advisors are here to provide expert guidance and support throughout the claims process, and to help you to achieve the compensation that you deserve.
Further Guidance On What Is The GDPR And How Does It Impact Data Breach Claims In The UK?
Guidance on Data Security Breach Management – Firstly, information from The Information Commissioner’s Office
Data Protection – Now, find further guidance from Citizens Advice.
10 Steps to Cyber Security – Insight from the National Cyber Security Centre.
Can I Claim Compensation For A Disciplinary Records Data Breach? – learn whether you could claim for a breach of disciplinary records.
What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Data Breach Claim? – We discuss the evidence that might be useful here.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim In The UK? – Finally, find information on time limits for data breach claims.