This guide will discuss the steps you could take to claim compensation following a sexuality data breach. If personal data regarding your sexual orientation is breached due to an organisation’s failure to adhere to data protection laws, it could cause you psychological harm or financial losses.
All organisations processing the personal data of UK residents must comply with the laws laid out by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the updated Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). They sit alongside one another to govern the use of data subjects’ personal data. If an organisation violates these laws, the UK GDPR creates an avenue for victims suffering from harm caused by a data breach to pursue compensation.
Furthermore, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent UK body responsible for upholding information rights. They can issue organisations with monetary penalties for violating data protection laws. However, they cannot award compensation.
Read on to learn about the process of seeking data breach compensation and how much you could be entitled to receive. Additionally, you can learn about the benefits of entering into a No Win No Fee agreement with a solicitor from our panel.
If you would like to discuss your claim, please contact our advisors. Our team can provide free, confidential advice without placing you under any obligation to further your claim with our panel of solicitors.
To speak to an advisor, you can:
Choose A Section
- Can I Claim Compensation For Data Breaches?
- What Are Sexuality Data Breaches?
- Typical Data Breaches
- How Much Can I Get For A Sexuality Data Breach?
- Breaking Down How To Get A No Win No Fee Agreement
- Further Guidance About Sexuality Data Breaches
The ICO describes a personal data breach as a security incident that affects the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data, which is data that could identify you. For example, this might be your phone number, full name, or post code.
The UK GDPR sets out compensation eligibility criteria for data breaches:
- There must have been a breach of your personal data
- The breach must be a result of wrongful conduct on the part of the organisation processing your data
- You must have suffered material damage or non-material damage
If you have suffered harm as a result of a sexuality data breach, contact our advisors. They can tell you if your claim could be valid.
A sexuality data breach is when information regarding or revealing your sexuality is compromised. For example, medical records could contain information regarding your sexual orientation or details about your sex life. Therefore, a breach of your medical records could result in personal data regarding your sexuality being accessed.
Information regarding your sexual orientation is classified as special category data. This is a type of personal data requiring extra protection due to its sensitive nature. Other special category data includes:
- Information relating to health – such as any medical conditions you may have
- Genetic data
- Trade union membership status
- Religious information
- Information about your race or ethnicity
A sexuality data breach compromises sensitive information concerning a person’s sexual orientation. This could cause psychological harm or financial losses.
Data breaches can happen due to human error, such as an email being sent to the wrong recipient. However, they can also happen due to intentional causes such as a cyberattack. If the organisation is at fault, for example, its security systems are not up to the required standard, you could claim for damage caused.
Therefore, the UK GDPR covers both physical and digital data. Below are further examples of how a data breach could occur:
- An organisation posts a letter containing personal data to the wrong address.
- Records containing personal data are stored in an unsecured location where they are stolen or lost.
- verbal disclosure of personal information over the phone without the carrying out of required security checks.
- An organisation incorrectly disposes of paperwork or hardware containing personal data.
If you are suffering from damage, you may be wondering how to report a data breach. The ICO explains the steps you could take. Firstly, contact the organisation directly explaining what has happened and its effects on you. Then, if you are not satisfied with their response, you should complain to the ICO, who can investigate the breach. Their findings can be used as evidence if you choose to claim.
Additionally, seeking legal advice is recommended for sexuality data breach cases. Our team of advisors can provide free legal advice and further help.
2022 ICO Data Breach Statistics
The ICO provides useful statistics on data security incident trends. Below are some statistics based on the number of reported personal data breaches received by the ICO during the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year:
- 2,172 total reported data security incidents.
- 381 incidents were caused by data being emailed to the wrong recipient.
- 217 incidents were caused by data being posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient.
Are you wondering, ‘How much compensation could I receive for the suffering caused by a sexuality data breach?’
There are two heads of claim that you could pursue, material damage and non-material damage. Firstly, non-material damage accounts for the psychological injury resulting from the personal data breach. This includes stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the table below, we have used the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), to provide brackets of compensation amounts from previous successful claims. Legal professionals often use this text to assist them with valuing compensation claims.
|Injury||Details||Compensation Amount Bracket|
|Severe Psychological Injury (a)||The person has marked problems coping with life and will have a very poor prognosis.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Moderately Severe Psychological Injury (b)||The person has significant problems coping with life but will have a more optimistic prognosis than the above.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Moderate Psychological Injury (c)||The person will have had problems coping with life but will have made marked improvement by the time of trial. The prognosis will be good.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Less Severe Psychological Injury (d)||The person's sleep and daily activities were affected. The award will consider the length of time the person was affected and to what extent.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|Severe PTSD (a)||The person's life will be permanently badly affected in all aspects.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Moderately Severe PTSD (b)||The person will suffer similar effects to the above. However, there will be a better prognosis with professional help.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|Moderate PTSD (c)||The person will largely recover, and any continuing effects will not be grossly disabling.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Less Severe PTSD (d)||The person will make a virtually full recovery within one to two years, and only minor symptoms persist longer.||£3,950 to £8,180|
These figures are a guide and not an exact guaranteed amount. For a free estimate of what your claim could be worth, contact our advisors.
What Does Material Damage Mean?
Material damage is the head of claim responsible for compensating financial losses caused by the personal data breach.
Following a sexuality data breach, you could suffer from loss of earnings caused by a psychological injury. You could claim reimbursement under special damages if your injury prevents you from working. It is important to note that you must keep evidence of financial losses. For this example, you could keep payslips.
There are other financial losses which could occur due to a data breach, these can include:
- Money stolen from your bank accounts
- Loans taken out in your name
- Damage to your credit score
Since the Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc  Court of Appeal case, you can now claim for non-material or material damage. You do not need to claim for material damage to be eligible to claim for non-material damage. Contact us for advice regarding a sexuality data breach.
Using a solicitor when making a data breach claim is not a legal requirement. However, it can be beneficial as a legal professional can provide expert advice and help you in navigating the claims process.
Opting to enter into a No Win No Fee agreement such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with a solicitor can provide further benefits. When your solicitor works under a CFA, they will not charge any upfront or ongoing fees for their service. If your claim succeeds, they will take a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage of your compensation. However, if your claim does not succeed, you will not pay this fee.
If you would like our advisors to assess your claim, contact us. If they find your claim to be valid, they could place you in contact with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel.
Ask About Sexuality Data Breach Claims
If you would like to discuss a sexuality data breach, please speak to a member of our team. Our advisors are experienced in offering legal advice.
To get in touch, you can:
Further pages from our site for you to explore:
- Data Breach FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
- How To Use A Data Breach Compensation Calculator
- Payouts For Mortgage Broker Data Breach Claims
- Payouts For Debt And Arrears Data Breach Claims
- Can I Claim Compensation For A Data Breach?
- How To Claim For A Disciplinary Information Data Breach
- Children In Care Data Breach Claims
- A Guide To Police Data Breach Claims
- How To Claim For A Tax Information Data Breach
- Can I Claim For A Disciplinary Records Data Breach?
- What Is A Data Protection Breach?
- Can I Claim For An Accountant Data Breach?
- NHS Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide
- Could I Claim For A Sexuality Data Breach?
External pages to have a look at:
We hope you have found this guide to claiming compensation following a sexuality data breach useful.
Writer Jess Ochre
Publisher Cat Hunt