Welcome to this guide on claiming data breach compensation for data breaches in mobile apps. With the increasing reliance on technology and mobile apps, the risk of data breaches has become more prevalent. Data breaches can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as weak security protocols, hacking, human error, and more.
When a data breach occurs, personal data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and even financial information may be exposed to unauthorised parties. This can have serious consequences for those affected, including identity theft, financial losses, and emotional distress.
It is important to note that if you have been affected by a data breach in a mobile app, you may have legal rights to compensation. The app developer, the app store, or the company responsible for processing your data may be held liable for the breach, and you may be entitled to compensation for the harm caused by the breach.
In this guide, we will explore who might be able to claim compensation if their personal data is exposed to an unauthorised party, and the harm it causes them. We will also discuss the steps you could take to claim data breach compensation for the losses you have suffered, and how you can get in touch with our advisors for a free case assessment if you think you might have a valid claim.
So, whether you have suffered financial losses or emotional distress due to a data breach in a mobile app, don‘t hesitate to get in touch with an advisor.
What Is A Mobile App Data Breach?
A mobile app data breach occurs when personal information is stolen or compromised as a result of a security breach within a mobile app. Such breaches can have serious consequences for the victims, including identity theft, financial losses, and emotional distress. In the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) sets out the legal framework for protecting personal data, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which took effect in May 2018 further strengthened the legal framework for data protection in the European Union.
Some mobile apps collect personal data that might include enough information for someone to commit identity theft or fraud. This could include sensitive data such as medical information, financial details, or data on political and religious beliefs. When such data is compromised, the consequences can be severe, as it can lead to financial loss, emotional harm, or even physical harm. For instance, if medical data is exposed, it can lead to identity theft, fraudulent insurance claims, and even medical malpractice.
The harm caused by a data breach can be significant, and it is important to understand the types of harm that can occur. This may include financial losses, such as direct financial losses resulting from the breach, such as fraudulent transactions, as well as indirect financial losses, such as the cost of repairing credit ratings or paying for identity theft protection. Emotional harm can also result, including anxiety, distress, and embarrassment. Victims of data breaches may also experience reputational damage or loss of business opportunities.
Who Could Claim Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Mobile Apps?
In order to claim compensation for a data protection breach, a victim would need to prove three key elements: wrongdoing on the part of the data controller, exposure of their data, and financial loss or emotional harm. Wrongdoing may include failing to take adequate security measures or not disclosing a data breach in a timely manner. Exposure of data can include disclosure to third parties without consent or accidental disclosure. Financial loss can include direct losses such as the cost of repairing credit ratings, and indirect losses such as lost income or business opportunities. Emotional harm can include anxiety, distress, and embarrassment.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Mobile Apps?
It is important to note that there are time limits for making a claim for compensation for a data protection breach. In the UK, the Limitation Act 1980 sets out the time frame within which a claim must be made. Generally, a claim for compensation must be made within six years of the date of the breach. However, this time frame may be shorter for public bodies or human rights violations.
How Could A Mobile App Data Breach Happen?
Here are some ways in which personal data can be breached by a mobile app:
- Malware – A mobile app can contain malware that can steal personal data from the device without the user’s knowledge or consent.
- Data interception – Personal data can be intercepted while it’s being transmitted over the network between the device and the server.
- Unsecured servers – Personal data can be compromised if the app’s servers are not properly secured, allowing unauthorised access to the data.
- Insecure storage – Personal data can be stored insecurely on the device, making it vulnerable to unauthorised access if the device is lost or stolen.
- Third-party integrations – Personal data can be breached if the app integrates with third-party services that have poor security practices.
- Social engineering – Hackers can use social engineering tactics to trick users into revealing personal information, such as their login credentials.
- Phishing – A mobile app can be used as part of a phishing attack, in which users are tricked into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links.
- Inadequate security measures – Personal data can be breached if the app does not have adequate security measures in place to protect it from unauthorised access or disclosure.
- Human error – Personal data can be breached due to human error, such as accidental data disclosure or misconfigured settings.
It‘s important to note that you would only be able to claim for such a breach if it harmed you, and if it was caused by wrongful action on the part of a data controller.
What Could I Claim For?
Non-material damages in data breach claims refer to harm caused by the breach that is not financial in nature. This can include things like emotional distress, anxiety, and reputational damage. Material damages, on the other hand, refer to financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the breach, such as identity theft, credit monitoring fees, or other related costs.
In terms of psychological injury compensation, the Judicial College Guidelines provide rough guidelines on how much compensation could be awarded for different types of psychological harm. For example, the guidelines suggest that for cases involving moderate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compensation could range from £8,180 to £23,150, depending on the severity of the symptoms and their impact on the individual’s life. For cases involving severe PTSD, compensation could range from £59,860 to £100,670.
However, it’s important to note that these are only rough guidelines and that the actual amount of compensation awarded will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the harm, the impact on the individual’s life, and any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the breach.
If you believe you may be entitled to compensation for a data breach, it’s important to get in touch with an advisor who can assess your claim and provide guidance on how much compensation you may be entitled to. They can also help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you have the best chance of receiving fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
No Win No Fee Compensation Claims
If you are considering making a data breach claim but are concerned about the cost of getting a solicitor to work on your claim, one option to consider is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a No Win No Fee agreement. Under a CFA, your solicitor agrees to take on your case and only charge you if you win your case. If you don’t win, you don’t have to pay anything.
If you do win your case, your solicitor will typically charge a success fee, which is an additional percentage of the compensation awarded. However, this fee is capped by law and cannot exceed 25% of the compensation awarded, so you can be sure that you will receive the majority of your compensation.
It’s important to note that not all solicitors will offer CFAs, and even those who do may have specific criteria for accepting cases under this type of agreement. However, our panel of data breach solicitors can take on claims under CFAs, and if you ring an advisor, they can check your eligibility and help you understand your options for pursuing a data breach claim. Why not get in touch with an advisor today?
Further Information On Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Mobile Apps
How Much Could My Data Breach Claim Be Worth – Learn about how much a claim for a data breach could bring.
Data Breach Calculator – Useful insight into calculating data breach compensation.
Examples Of An Accidental Data Breach– Learn more about compensation for data breaches that may seem accidental.
Claiming Data Breach Compensation – Here, you can learn more about claiming compensation on the ICO‘s website.
What Is Personal Data – The ICO provides insight into what could be considered personal data.
Guidance On Creating Mobile Apps – Here, you can learn more about how to safely create a mobile app.