This guide will provide you with information about the different types of data breaches that you could potentially claim for. A personal data breach can have significant, long-lasting effects on your daily life, and you may be able to claim compensation.
We will discuss the legislation that protects the personal data of UK residents, and how this affects the way your personal data is handled. We will also discuss how a personal data breach can occur, and how a valid claim is formed.
If you have further questions, our advisors are here to help. Our team can offer free legal advice, and can answer any queries you may have following this guide.
To learn more about the types of data breaches that could lead to a successful claim or to see if you’re eligible to make a claim, please get in touch with our team:
Select A Section
- A Guide To The Different Types Of Data Breaches And When You Can Claim Compensation
- What Types Of Data Breaches Could Lead To A Claim?
- What Data Breach Payout Could You Receive From A Successful Claim?
- Potential Evidence That Could Be Used In Data Breach Claims
- Contact Us To Claim For A Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Learn More About The Different Types Of Data Breaches
There are certain instances where you may be able to claim data breach compensation after a data breach. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) protect the personal data of UK residents, and also outline when you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Data controllers and processors have to follow the steps outlined by the legislation above. If they fail to do so, this could result in a personal data breach.
The legal definition of a data breach is found in Article 4 of the UK GDPR. A data protection breach is a security incident that involves your personal data being lost, altered, or destroyed either unlawfully or accidentally. It can also involve your personal data being disclosed or accessed without authorisation.
Personal data is classed as any information that could be used to identify you when processed by itself or in combination with other personal information. This could include your name, email address, phone number, and postal address. There is also a kind of personal data known as special category data, such as health data and information relating to your racial or ethnic origin and trade union membership, which is given extra protection.
Get in touch with our team to find out if you could be eligible to claim, or read on to learn more about the different types of data breaches.
Article 82 of the UK GDPR lays out the criteria for claiming compensation. It states that in order to claim:
- The breach has to be a result of the data controller or processor’s wrongful conduct
- It has to involve your personal data
- You have to experience harm, financially or psychologically
There are a variety of different types of data breaches. Some examples could include:
- A bank releasing personal information relating to your credit score could result in a credit score data breach claim.
- A hospital data breach in which your medical records have been left unattended on a public-facing desk, allowing unauthorized access to your information.
- An HR data breach occurs when an employee verbally discloses personal data from your disciplinary records to an unauthorized party.
- An online retailer that does not have adequate cybersecurity policies in place suffers a cyberattack, in which your customer billing data was accessed by someone who does not have authorization.
If you would like to know whether you could be eligible for compensation, contact our team today.
You may be wondering how much compensation your data breach claim could be worth if you succeed. There are two heads of claim that you can pursue in a personal data breach claim: material damage compensation, and non-material damage compensation.
Non-material damage compensation aims to address the damage the breach has done to your mental health. For example, a data breach could cause depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or it could worsen a pre-existing condition.
Solicitors may use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value non-material damage awards. The JCG lists physical and psychological injuries and provides compensation bracket guidelines for each injury. Please note that these are not guaranteed amounts.
|Type of Harm||Severity||Description||Compensation|
|Psychological Injury||Severe||You will find it very difficult to cope with life, education, or work. There is a low likelihood of successful treatment.||£54,830 - £115,730|
|Psychological Injury||Moderately Severe||Similar symptoms to the above. However, there will be a more optimistic prognosis and therefore a better chance of recovery.||£19,070 - £54,830|
|Psychological Injury||Moderate||Symptoms in this bracket will show an improvement by the time of trial.||£5,860 - £19,070|
|Psychological Injury||Less Severe||This bracket considers the length of time affected and how symptoms interact with daily life.||£1,540 - £5,860|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||Severe||Permanent and severe effects remove the ability to function at the pre-trauma level.||£59,860 - £100,670|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||Moderately Severe||A better prognosis is present as symptoms may improve with professional intervention.||£23,150 - £59,860|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||Moderate||A large recovery occurs, though non-disabling symptoms persist.||£8,180 - £23,150|
|Reactive Anxiety Disorder||Less Severe||A virtually fully recovery occurs within 1-2 years, and some minor symptoms continue.||£3,950 - £8,180|
Can You Claim For Material Damage?
Material damage compensation aims to compensate you for the financial losses you suffer because of the breach. For example, a bank data breach could see funds stolen from your bank account, damage to your credit score, or debts accrued in your name. You may be able to claim these losses back as material damage compensation.
For more information on claiming for different types of data breaches, get in touch with our team today.
Collecting evidence, either yourself or with the help of a personal data breach solicitor, can be very helpful when claiming. Evidence can help establish who is liable for the breach, and how the breach has caused you harm.
Evidence that you could collect to help strengthen your claim can include:
- Letters or emails from the organisation responsible. If you report the data breach to the controller or processor, their response could be used as evidence. Similarly, a letter of notification or an email confirming the breach could also help strengthen your claim.
- Medical records or the results of an independent medical assessment that illustrates the psychological harm you have suffered because of the breach.
- Bank statements, credit reports, or other documentation that illustrates how the data breach has affected your finances
A solicitor from our panel may be able to help you collate evidence and further strengthen your claim. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.
If you would like to claim, our panel of solicitors could help you on a No Win No Fee basis. Through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a solicitor from our panel could help you through the claims process, generally without asking for any upfront or ongoing fees.
If your claim succeeds, your data breach solicitor will be paid a success fee. Your solicitor will take this from your compensation award. However, this amount has a legal cap, so you will get the majority of your award.
To find out if you could be eligible to claim with the help of a solicitor from our panel, get in touch today:
Feel free to read some of our guides which we have provided below.
- Data Breach Compensation Payout Examples
- What To Do If You Suspect A Data Breach
- Consequences Of A Data Breach
We have also provided some additional resources below that you may find beneficial.
For more advice on the types of data breaches that you may be able to claim for, get in touch.
Writer Saif Sundry
Editor Cat Hunt