Data breach compensation for data breaches in social media platforms can happen for various reasons, including through malware, phishing attacks, or hacking. When these breaches occur, they can have severe consequences. These can include consequences such as identity theft, financial losses, reputational damage, and other harms.
In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become a significant part of our daily lives. While they offer a wealth of benefits, including connecting with friends and family and staying up-to-date on news and events, they also come with a significant risk of data breaches.
If you have been the victim of a data breach in a social media platform, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm caused to you. The aim of this guide is to explore who might be able to claim compensation if their personal data is exposed to an unauthorised party and what steps you can take to claim.
Additionally, the guide will provide details on how to obtain a free case assessment if you believe you may have a valid claim. We understand the importance of protecting your personal data, and we are committed to helping you receive the compensation you deserve. Why not get in touch to find out if you could claim?
Claiming Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Social Media Platforms – Who Could Be Eligible To Claim?
Social media has become an essential part of modern life, connecting people around the world and facilitating the sharing of ideas and information. However, the widespread use of social media has also created a significant risk of data breaches.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, social media platforms have a legal obligation to collect and store personal data securely and to inform users if their data has been compromised in a data breach. However, despite these legal requirements, data breaches can and do occur on social media platforms.
One of the most significant risks associated with a social media data breach is identity theft. If an unauthorised individual gains access to personal data, they can use that information to steal someone’s identity and commit fraud or other crimes in their name. Additionally, a data breach can also cause emotional harm, reputational damage, and financial loss, as individuals may have to take steps to protect themselves from further harm or to recover losses.
If you have been the victim of a social media data breach, you may be entitled to compensation. However, to make a successful claim, you must be able to prove that the data controller, i.e., the social media platform, was negligent, acting wrongfully in the handling of your data and that you have suffered financial loss or emotional harm as a result.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Data Breach Compensation For Data Breaches In Social Media Platforms?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, individuals have six years from the date of the breach to make a claim for compensation. However, the time frame may be shorter for public bodies or in cases involving human rights violations. Therefore, it is essential to act quickly if you believe you have been the victim of a social media data breach.
Social Media And Data Protection – Case Example
The case involving TikTok and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) highlights the importance of data protection when it comes to social media platforms. The ICO found that TikTok had breached the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) between May 2018 and July 2020 by processing personal data of UK children under the age of 13 without consent or authorisation from their parents or carers. Additionally, the platform failed to provide proper information to people using the platform about how their data is collected, used, and shared in a way that is easy to understand.
As a result of these breaches, TikTok was fined £12.7 million by the ICO. While this case specifically involved TikTok, it serves as a reminder of the importance of data protection when using social media platforms. It is essential to understand how your personal data is being used and to take steps to protect it.
The ICO has since published the Children’s code, a statutory code of practice aimed at online services accessed by children, including social media platforms. The code sets out 15 standards to ensure children have the best possible experience of online services.
How Could Social Medial Data Breaches Happen?
Social media data breaches can happen due to a variety of reasons, including technical issues, human error, and malicious attacks. Here are three hypothetical examples of situations where data might be wrongfully exposed by a social media platform:
- Technical glitch – Suppose a social media platform updates its software and introduces a bug that accidentally allows unauthorised access to user data. As a result, personal information such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers of thousands of users are exposed.
- Insider breach – Imagine an employee of a social media company intentionally accesses and shares user data with unauthorised third parties. This could happen due to a disgruntled employee or someone who wants to profit by selling user data on the dark web.
- Third-party app integration – Some social media platforms allow third-party apps to integrate with their services, which can create a potential security risk. In this scenario, a third-party app that has integrated with a social media platform might be hacked, and the attackers can access the data of the platform’s users who have given permission to the app to access their data. This can include sensitive information such as location data, browsing history, and contact information.
In each of these scenarios, a social media data breach could occur, leading to personal information being exposed to unauthorised parties, potentially causing harm to users. Should you believe you have a claim, please call an advisor for further guidance.
How Much Compensation Could I Claim?
The amount of compensation that may be appropriate for a social media data breach depends on several factors, including the nature and extent of the harm suffered by the victim. In general, compensation may be awarded for both material and non-material damages.
Material damages refer to direct financial losses that the victim has incurred as a result of the data breach. This could include things like loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, or costs associated with recovering from identity theft. The amount of compensation for material damages is usually based on the actual costs incurred by the victim.
Non-material damages, on the other hand, refer to the emotional or psychological harm suffered by the victim as a result of the data breach. This could include things like anxiety, distress, loss of privacy, and reputational damage.
To help work out a rough estimate of non-material damages compensation, the Judicial College Guidelines can be used. These guidelines provide a range of compensation for different types of harm suffered, based on the severity of the injury or harm. For example, in the case of a social media data breach, the victim may suffer from feelings of distress, anxiety, or embarrassment. The Judicial College Guidelines provide a range of compensation for psychological harm, with the amount depending on the severity of the harm suffered. Examples can be found below:
- Severe psychological harm- £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately Severe psychological harm – £19,070 to £54,830
- Moderate psychological harm – £5,860 to £19,070
- Less Severe psychological harm- £1,540 to £5,860
It is important to note that the amount of compensation awarded for a social media data breach will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. If you think you might have a valid claim for compensation, it is recommended that you seek legal advice.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Compensation Claims Against Social Media Platforms
Social media data breach claims can be expensive to pursue, and many people may not have the financial means to pay for a solicitor‘s work upfront. This is where a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) can help.
A CFA is also known as a No Win No Fee agreement, which means that the victim does not have to pay any legal fees if their claim is not successful. If the claim is successful, the lawyer’s fees are typically paid by the defendant or a portion of the compensation awarded to the victim.
Under a CFA, the lawyer takes on the financial risk of pursuing the claim, which can be a significant advantage for the victim.
If you think you might have a valid claim for a social media data breach, it is recommended that you speak to an advisor who can provide you with a data breach solicitor to start a No Win No Fee claim. They can explain the process of making a claim under a CFA, and answer any questions you may have about the legal process. Why not get in touch to find out more.
Further Insight Into Social Media Data Breaches
Data Breach Compensation Payout Examples – Learn more about the different types of data breaches.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims Explained – Find out more about making a No Win No Fee Claim.
Data Breach Solicitors – Learn about the work a solicitor could do on a data breach claim.
Cyber Security Breaches 2022 – Data security incident statistics can be found here.
Special Category Data – An explanation of special category data.
ICO TikTok BreachFind more details of the ICO‘s action against TikTok.