Are you suffering the consequences of a data breach? Were you informed by an organisation that your personal data was found in a data security incident? Or perhaps you discovered a data breach yourself and are trying to deal with the related stress and loss of money.
This article aims to discuss the two main laws which protect the data processing rights of all UK residents called the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). We also look at how an independent agency called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can investigate any organisation which fails to provide a lawful basis for processing personal data and correctly apply the 7 core principles of data processing when using it.
We will also explore the consequences of a data breach and how a breach could affect you. Get in touch with our team of advisors to find out if you could be eligible to claim by:
Choose A Section
- A Guide To The Potential Consequences Of A Data Breach
- What Constitutes A Data Breach?
- Non-Material Damage Compensation In A Data Breach Claim
- Potential Evidence That Can Help In Data Breach Claims
- See If You Can Claim For The Consequences Of A Data Breach Using Our Panel Of No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors
- Learn More About The Potential Consequences Of A Data Breach
Before we discuss a personal data breach, it is important to understand what is classed as protected personal data. Broadly, personal data refers to any detail about an individual that, when used alone or alongside other information, could reveal or infer their identity.
Data controllers and processors are responsible for handling your personal data. A data controller decides how and why to use your personal data and passes these instructions on to the data processor. Then, the processor processes your personal data on the controller’s behalf.
Please contact our advisors for help and guidance about the consequences of a data breach at any point whilst reading this guide.
A personal data breach can be the loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure, unauthorised access or destruction of personal data, either accidentally or deliberately. However, in order to claim, the breach must be a result of wrongful conduct.
Positive wrongful conduct on the part of the controllers and processors that hold your personal data might occur in a number of general ways. Some examples include:
- If your bank sends a letter containing personal data to the wrong address or the wrong recipient, despite providing them with your updated details
- When a GP or doctor verbally discloses information from your medical records to an unauthorised party
- An online retailer or website fails to correctly process or dispose of debit card details and other information relating to you
- A fax or email containing customer billing information is forwarded to the incorrect fax machine
Our guide will explain how legal help in the form of a data breach solicitor could assist with the complexities of your claim. Read on to learn more about the consequences of a data breach, or get in touch to get started.
This category of potential compensation looks at the level of psychological harm that was a consequence of a data breach. For example, following a breach, you may suffer from:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
To help with calculating compensation for these injuries, solicitors and lawyers refer to a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). It lists award bracket amounts to act as guidelines for legal professionals:
|Mental Health Condition||Amount Brackets||Description|
|Mental Injury||(A) Severe - £54,830 to £115,730||This bracket reflects psychological injury affecting all areas of the person's life with a poor future prognosis.|
|Mental Injury||(B) Moderately Severe -£19,070 to £54,830||Significant and long-standing injuries similar to those above but with a more positive prognosis.|
|Mental Injury||(C) Moderate - £5,860 to £19,070||Whilst similar to above, an improvement is seen by the time the case may need to go to trial.|
|Mental Injury||(D) Less Severe - £1,540 to £5,860||Indicative of the length of illness caused and how the symptoms affect your daily life.|
|PTSD||(A) Severe - £59,860 to £100,670||A serious and permanent trauma response impacting all areas of the person's life.|
|PTSD||(B) Moderately Severe -£23,150 to £59,860||Similar to the issues above but a more positive outcome after professional help.|
|PTSD||(C) Moderate - £8,180 to £23,150||Overall a positive and large recovery with persisting issues being manageable.|
|PTSD||(D) Less Severe - £3,950 to £8,180||Within 12 - 24 months there is a near-full recovery seen, with any persisting problems being minor in nature.|
It’s important to note that these amounts are not compensation guarantees, merely guidelines. The actual compensation you could receive may vary.
Can My Data Breach Payout Consist of Material Damage Compensation?
Material damage is a term used to describe the financial impacts of a data breach. There are many ways that a data breach could affect your finances, including:
- The theft of money from your bank account
- The consequent damage to your credit score
- Fraudulent purchases made in your name on a credit card or store card
- Other associated costs attached to identity theft
With adequate evidence, you may be able to recoup these costs under material damage compensation. For more information on claiming compensation for the consequences of a data breach, get in touch today.
Below are some useful tips to help you assemble evidence for a data breach claim:
- Firstly, retain all correspondence about the data breach. All organisations have a duty to report data breaches that may impact the rights and freedoms of the data subject to the ICO no later than 72 hours after discovery. The impacted subject should also be informed without undue delay.
- Have any psychological injuries assessed by a GP or specialist, as these notes or records could be used to strengthen your claim.
As well as these points, you can complain directly to the organisation if you are unhappy with the way your data has been processed or safeguarded. You can also make a complaint to the ICO, who may investigate the incident.
Our panel of solicitors may be able to help if you have suffered harm due to a data breach. Read on to find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you claim for the consequences of a data breach.
See If You Can Claim For The Consequences Of A Data Breach Using Our Panel Of No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors
After suffering the consequences of a data breach, you may be considering starting a claim for compensation against the organisation responsible for the breach. You can do this independently, but the help of a data breach specialist could make it seem less daunting and less complex.
At Data Breach Law, we can connect you with data breach solicitors who use No Win No Fee agreements for claims such as this. For example, a member of our panel could take your claim up with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This has numerous advantages, such as:
- Generally, no upfront fees are required to pay to your solicitor
- They will also not ask for any ongoing fees throughout the claim
- The only fee your solicitor will take is a success fee if your claim succeeds
This success fee is taken from your compensation by your solicitor. It is taken as a percentage that has a legal cap. However, if your claim fails, then your solicitor will require no fee to pay for their work.
If You Want Free Legal Advice, Contact Us Today To See If You Can Claim
Therefore, with all this in mind, speak to our team to see how a No Win No Fee agreement could help you today. Legal advice from our solicitors is free, and there’s no obligation to proceed. To find out if a solicitor from our panel could help you:
The articles from our website below offer further reading on personal data breach claims:
- What is the average compensation for a data breach claim?
- Data breach compensation payout examples
- What to do if you suspect a data breach
Or, for more helpful resources:
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim for the consequences of a data breach.
Writer Jeff Wilders
Editor Cat Hunt