These days, personal data has become a valuable asset, and organisations need to protect it so that individuals can maintain their privacy and security. However, data breaches have become a common occurrence, and the consequences of a breach can be severe. If a company misused your personal data, and it is exposed, it could lead to you experiencing financial or emotional damage. If this has happened to you, it is vital to know your rights and options to seek compensation.
This guide aims to provide you with actionable information on making a data breach compensation claim if a company has wrongfully exposed your data and you’ve suffered harm as a result. We will explain what damages you could claim, how long you might have to make a data breach claim, and how we could help you make a No Win No Fee data breach claim.
We understand that the process of making a data breach claim can be daunting, and the legal jargon can be confusing. Therefore, we have designed this guide to be easy to understand and provide you with practical steps to take. We will explain the steps you need to take to establish liability, how to prove the damages you have suffered, and how to negotiate a settlement.
Should you wish to begin a claim right away, and you’d like our help, or to receive a free case assessment, please get in touch.
A Company Misused My Personal Data – Am I Eligible To Claim?
Organisations have a legal responsibility to protect personal data under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR. This legislation requires organisations, whether businesses, public bodies or charities to process personal data fairly, lawfully, and transparently.
This means that organisations should not misuse personal data, such as sharing it without consent or without a valid reason. If an organisation has misused your personal data, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
To claim data breach compensation, there are certain criteria your case must meet. Firstly, the organisation must have acted wrongfully by misusing your personal data. Secondly, you must have suffered some kind of harm as a result of the data breach. This could be financial, such as fraud or identity theft, or emotional, such as anxiety or distress after a data breach.
To support your claim, you will need evidence to demonstrate the harm you have suffered. This could include bank statements, medical reports, and evidence of any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the data breach.
Data breach solicitors from our panel could help you make a claim for compensation. If you get in touch, advisors can advise you on the strength of your claim and the likelihood of success. They can also assist with connecting you with a solicitor who could take on your case.
Time Limits For Claims Where A Company Misused Your Personal Data
it is important to be aware of the time limits for making a claim. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have six years to bring a claim for compensation for a data breach. This means that you must start legal proceedings within six years of the date of the data breach. However, it is important to act quickly as some claims have a shorter limitation period. Plus, evidence may become harder to obtain over time. Contact us today to speak with an advisor and find out if you are still within the time limits for making a claim.
How Could A Company Misuse My Personal Data?
Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person (data subject). Although they have a responsibility to protect your data, companies could misuse personal data in a variety of ways, including:
- Sharing data without consent – Companies could share personal data without obtaining proper consent, violating data protection laws. This could be a result of human error, or it could be done maliciously.
- Data breaches – Companies may suffer a data breach, and personal data may be stolen, leaked, or sold on the dark web.
- Using data for an unauthorised purpose – Companies may collect personal data for a specific purpose, but then use it for a different purpose without consent.
- Failing to secure data – Companies may fail to secure personal data, leading to it being accessed by unauthorised third parties.
- Selling data – Companies may sell personal data to third parties without consent or transparency, potentially leading to identity theft or fraud.
- Targeted advertising – Companies may use personal data to target advertisements without obtaining proper consent or transparency.
- Retention of data – Companies may retain personal data for longer than necessary or without consent, violating data protection laws.
Example Of How A Company Could Misuse Personal Data
In 2018, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK fined Facebook £500,000 for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal involved the misuse of personal data from up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
The ICO found that Facebook had breached the Data Protection Act 1998. it did so by failing to safeguard users’ information and failing to be transparent about how data was being harvested by third parties. The ICO also criticised Facebook for not taking sufficient action to ensure that the personal data was deleted once it was no longer needed.
The fine was the maximum penalty available under the 1998 Act, which was in force at the time of the data breach. However, if the same incident had occurred under the UK GDPR, which came into effect in 2018, the fine could have been much higher, up to 4% of Facebook’s global annual revenue.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive If A Company Exposed My Personal Data?
If a company wrongfully exposed your personal data, and you have suffered harm as a result, you may be eligible to claim compensation. The compensation payout you could receive will depend on the nature and extent of the harm you have suffered.
In general, compensation for a data breach can be broken down into two categories: material damages and non-material damages.
Material damages are damages that can be easily quantified, such as financial losses resulting from the data breach, including identity theft, fraud, or unauthorised use of your credit card. The amount of compensation you could receive for material damages will depend on the specific harm you have suffered and the evidence you can provide to support your claim.
Non-material damages are damages that are more difficult to quantify, such as emotional distress or anxiety resulting from the data breach.
The Judicial College Guidelines provide approximate compensation brackets for psychological harm based on the severity of the damage. These brackets range from £1,540 to £115,730.
It is worth mentioning that these figures are not definitive and are only meant to give an idea of appropriate compensation amounts for specific levels of psychological harm. The actual compensation amount for your data breach claim may differ, depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
No Win No Fee Misuse Of Data Compensation Claims
If you have suffered harm as a result of a company misusing your personal data, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, the claims process can be complicated, and it’s often best to seek the assistance of a data breach solicitor.
Our advisors can connect you with one of our panel of solicitors who specialise in data breach claims. They can guide you through the claims process, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the company’s insurers on your behalf.
If you are worried about the cost of pursuing a claim, you may be pleased to know that our solicitors can take on claims under a No Win No Fee arrangement. This means that you will not have to pay any upfront fees to pursue your claim, and if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be responsible for paying our legal fees.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, a solicitor will only be paid if your claim is successful. If you win your case, legal fees will be paid as a percentage of the compensation you receive. This means that you can pursue your claim without worrying about financial risk.
Start Your Claim
Whether the company that misused your personal data was a loan company, bank, private hospital, or another party, our panel of solicitors can take on your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement. Contact us today to speak with one of our data breach solicitors and find out how we can help you pursue your claim.
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Further Insight Into Data Breach Claims If A Company Misused Your Data
You may find the below links useful when researching data breach claims.
Data Security Incidents – Statistics surrounding data security incidents from the ICO.
Online Data Protection – Learn how to protect personal data online.
I have A Concern – If you’re concerned your data has been misused, this guide could help.
Salary Data Breach – Has your salary data been exposed? Find out what you could do.
Data Breach Calculator – Find out how much you could claim.
Accidental Data Breach – Can you claim if a data breach is accidental? Learn more about this subject here.