Has a data breach exposed your phone numbers, causing you to suffer mental or financial harm? If this is the case, you may be wondering if you can claim compensation.
If an organisation failed to lawfully protect your personal data, which then caused you harm in either financial loss or emotional distress, you could be owed compensation as a result.
As you read our informative guide, the highlighted links can take you to further reading about data breach compensation payouts and how a breach could occur. In addition to this, you can contact our advisors and find out if you have a valid claim by:
- Calling our team for free help on 0800 408 7827
- Contacting us online
- Or using the live support option for immediate support
Choose A Section
- Can I Claim If A Data Breach Exposed Phone Numbers, Including Mine?
- How Could A Data Breach Have Exposed Phone Numbers?
- What Potential Data Breach Payout Could I Receive?
- Evidence That Could Help In Data Breach Claims
- Why Claim For A Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Learn More About Claiming If A Data Breach Exposed Your Phone Numbers
Before we discuss how a breach occur, we will first explain what personal data is and what constitutes as a personal data breach. Any piece of information that could positively identify someone when used alone or alongside other details is classed as personal data. Therefore, this could include your:
- Name and address
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- Bank, credit and debit card details
A personal data breach occurs when a security incident goes on to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the information provided above. If your personal data is compromised in a personal data breach, then you could be eligible to make a claim.
The two parties that handle your personal data in an official capacity are known as data controllers and data processors. A data controller is in charge of how and why your data is used, and they set out the instructions for how it is to be processed. Data controllers must also establish a lawful basis before collecting your data. Following this, a data processor will process your personal data by following the instructions of the data controller.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
An independent body called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for upholding data protection legislation for UK residents. The ICO cannot provide compensation, and they do not handle personal data breach claims. However, they can investigate potential breaches, and may issue monetary fines against organisations found to be in breach of legislation.
To learn more about claiming, get in touch with our team today.
You might wonder how a data breach could have exposed your phone numbers. There are many ways that this could happen, spanning from human error to cybercrime. However, according to the UK GDPR, your case must meet certain criteria laid out in Article 82 in order to claim:
- The breach has to include your personal data
- It has to occur because of the data controller or processor’s wrongful conduct
- It must cause you harm
If your claim can meet all three of these criteria, then you may be eligible for compensation. With this in mind, some examples of how a personal data breach could occur include:
- A university data breach could occur if your university fails to employ adequate cybersecurity systems, resulting in a cyberattack that exposes your phone number.
- An employer data breach may occur if your employer were to take your phone number from your disciplinary records and give it to an unauthorised party
- A hospital data breach could occur if an employee were to accidentally send an email containing your phone number or other personal data to multiple recipients instead of just you
Our advisors can tell you if you could be eligible to make a personal data breach compensation claim when you get in touch today.
A data breach can lead to two areas of harm. The first looks at the psychological harm that can come from a breach. This can trigger stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As we have already mentioned, providing evidence to help prove the harm you have suffered can also help.
A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is often used by solicitors, lawyers, and other legal professionals to assign value to claims. This is because the JCG provides guideline settlement amounts for a range of physical and mental injuries and illnesses. Below, you can find some examples of these guidelines in reference to non-material damage compensation.
|Type of Psychological/Psychiatric Injury||Severity||JC Guideline Award Bracket||Notes|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(a) Severe||£54,830 to £115,730||In these cases the injured person will suffer a marked impact in the areas of work, personal relationships and education. The future prognosis is also very poor.|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(b) Moderately Severe||£19,070 to £54,830||Similar levels of negative psychological impact represent a significant long-standing disability. However, a more optimistic future prognosis is present.|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(c) Moderate||£5,860 to £19,070||This bracket has a good prognosis due to an improvement in symptoms by the time of trial.|
|General Psychiatric Damage||(d) Less Severe||£1,540 to £5,860||Considers the length of disability and the extent to which symptoms affect daily life.|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe||£59,860 to £100,670||Symptoms in this bracket are permanent, and the severity level removes the ability to go through daily life at the same level as before the trauma.|
|PTSD||(b) Moderately Severe||£23,150 to £59,860||This bracket is distinct from the bracket above because an improvement could be seen after professional intervention.|
|PTSD||(c) Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||This bracket refers to people who have largely recovered with any residual symptoms not being grossly disabling.|
|PTSD||(c) Less Severe||£3,950 to £8,180||Virtually a full recovery within a 1 - 2 year period and only minor issues persisting beyond this.|
Please note that the figures above are guidelines only. The actual amount of compensation that you could receive if your claim succeeds can vary.
Can I Also Claim For Material Damage Compensation?
Material damage compensation takes into account the financial losses you suffered because of the breach. A phone number could be used with other information to commit fraud. This may enable:
- Theft from your bank account
- Fraudulent purchases in your name
- Negative impact on a credit score
To learn more about how solicitors and other legal professionals calculate data breach compensation, get in touch with our advisors today.
If a data breach exposed your phone numbers, you may want to make a personal data breach claim. In this case, collecting evidence can be helpful. Evidence can help strengthen your claim by demonstrating the extent of the harm you have suffered, both psychologically and financially. Evidence can also help in establishing who is liable for the breach.
Some examples of evidence that could help in data breach claims include:
- Proof of the breach: This can include correspondence with the organisation responsible for the breach, such as a letter of notification, that establishes how and why the breach occurred
- Medical records or notes: Medical evidence, such as medical records, notes or reports from a GP, or an independent medical assessment can all demonstrate the extent of the psychological harm you suffered because of the breach,
- Bills, receipts, or invoices: Evidence of the financial harm caused by the breach can also be useful. This could be in the form of bills, invoices, or receipts, as well as bank statements or credit reports.
Call our advisors now to learn about how a solicitor from our panel could help you gather evidence to help your claim.
Data breach claims can be complex. But, if you would like to seek legal representation, our advisors could help. They could connect you to a data breach solicitor from our panel, who offer No Win No Fee arrangements such as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA).
Generally, a CFA will grant you access to expert legal representation and guidance, without requiring any upfront fees to be paid to your solicitor. They also won’t expect any ongoing fees for their services. In fact, the only fee that you should pay under a CFA is a success fee. If your claim succeeds, this is taken directly from your compensation. But, should your claim fail, you will not pay a fee to your solicitor.
Contact Us For Free 24/7 After A Data Breach Exposed Phone Numbers Connected To You
Please get in touch if a data breach exposed phone numbers belonging to you. Our advisors can offer legal advice for free, and they can also tell you if you could be entitled to compensation. If so, they may then put you in contact with a solicitor from our panel. Learn more by:
- Calling our advisors on 0800 408 7827
- Contacting us online
- Or use the live support option for immediate support
Our other articles offer more reading on similar topics:
- Was your customer billing data accessed in a data breach?
- What to do if you suspect a data breach
- Can I claim for a private company data breach?
Or, for further resources on the topics in this guide:
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim if a data breach exposed phone numbers, including your own.
Writer Jeff Wilders
Editor Cat Hunt