Hotel data breaches can cause harm to people whose personal information has been exposed. Fortunately, this guide has been created to provide advice and support for those who may be eligible to claim data breach compensation.
To be eligible to launch a claim for a data breach, you must have suffered some form of harm, such as financial loss or emotional distress, because the hotel has acted wrongfully with regards to the protection of your data.
Below, we provide advice on how to make a claim if you have suffered harm as a result of a hotel’s wrongful exposure of your data. We cover various topics, including the eligibility criteria for making a claim and the time frame within which you must file a claim. We also explain how to calculate compensation and how to begin a No Win No Fee claim as well as what evidence you might need.
Read on to learn more about your rights and options in the event of a hotel data breach. If you have questions you can contact our advisors in any of the following ways:
Hotel Data Breach Claims – Are You Eligible?
To be eligible to make a claim for a hotel data breach in England and Wales, certain criteria must be met.
- You must have experienced harm because of a hotel data breach. Harm can include financial loss, credit rating damage, identity theft, and also psychological distress.
- The hotel must have had a duty of care to protect your personal information. All hotels are required by law to comply with data protection regulations such as the Data Protection Act 2018. Should a hotel act wrongfully and fails to adhere to these laws, exposing your data and causing harm as a result, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for the enforcement of data protection laws in the UK. The ICO has the power to investigate and take action against parties that break them. We should mention, however, that, complaining to the ICO does not automatically bring you any compensation. To make a claim for data breach compensation, you will need to speak to a specialised data breach solicitor who can assess your case and advise you on your options.
Is There A Time Limit For Hotel Data Breach Claims?
There is a time limit for making a hotel data breach claim in England and Wales. Generally, you have up to six years from the date of the data breach to bring a claim, unless it is against a public body. However, this time limit can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
It is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe that you may have a claim for a hotel data breach. A solicitor can advise you on the time limit for your specific case and help you take the necessary steps to pursue a claim within the allotted time frame.
If you miss the time limit for making a claim, you may lose your right to compensation, so it’s important to act quickly to protect your legal rights.
Hotels And Data Breach Claims Explained
Hotels have a duty to protect the personal data they hold about their guests. This is because hotels are considered data controllers under data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. As such, hotels are required to comply with specific rules regarding how they collect, use, and store personal data.
The data a hotel might have about its guests can include:
- Their name and address
- Payment information
- Passport and visa information
- Contact details
- CCTV imagery
If a hotel breaches this data, there could be several potential consequences. If someone steals a hotel guest’s personal and financial information, it could be used to commit fraud, or their identity could be stolen. A data breach can also result in significant psychological distress.
There are many ways in which a data breach could potentially occur in a hotel setting. Some examples include:
- Hacking or cyberattacks – Someone may attempt to gain access to hotel databases or payment systems. Then, they could steal guest data.
- Insider threats – Hotel staff may deliberately or accidentally disclose guest data. This could happen through negligence, human error or malicious intent.
- Physical theft or loss – Paper records or electronic devices containing guest data could be stolen or lost. This could include data held on a misplaced laptop or USB, for example.
It is important for hotels to implement robust data protection measures and take steps to prevent and respond to data breaches. If a hotel acts wrongfully, exposing your data to unauthorised parties, and harming you as a result, this could lead to a hotel data breach claim. To check your eligibility, please call our advisors. They are knowledgeable about hotel data breach claims, and could advise you further.
Example – The Marriott Hotel Data Breach
The 2018 Marriott data breach at Starwood hotels, later acquired by Marriott, is one example of the potential impact of hotel data breaches. This breach exposed the personal data of up to 500 million guests.
The data included names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, and credit card information. However, while some encrypted payment card numbers were stolen, it appears that the decryption key was not accessed.
The consequences of the Marriott data breach were significant. Affected guests were left potentially at risk of fraud or identity theft. Furthermore, the incident raised concerns about data protection in the hotel industry as a whole.
Marriott faced legal and regulatory scrutiny following the breach. A £99 million fine was levied against them by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). To address the issue, the company implemented new data protection measures.
Overall, the Marriott hotel data breach highlights the importance of safeguarding guest data in the hotel industry. It also explains the potential consequences of failing to do so. Hotels must take appropriate measures to protect customer information and respond effectively in the event of a data breach to mitigate harm and restore trust.
Hotel Data Breach Claims Payouts – How To Calculate Compensation
It is important to note that compensation paid out for hotel data breach claims can vary greatly based on the individual circumstances of each case. If you are considering filing a hotel data breach claim, it is recommended that you consult with a legal expert who can offer guidance and advice tailored to your particular case.
In hotel data breach claims, damages can generally be categorised as either material or non-material.
Material damages refer to tangible losses or expenses that the claimant incurs as a result of the breach. These may include financial losses resulting from fraudulent transactions, costs associated with cancelling or reissuing credit cards, or expenses incurred in obtaining credit monitoring or identity theft protection services.
Non-material damages, on the other hand, refer to intangible harm suffered by the claimant as a result of the breach. These may include emotional distress, anxiety, or other negative psychological effects resulting from the breach. Non-material damages may also include damage to the claimant’s reputation, loss of privacy, or other intangible harms resulting from the unauthorised disclosure of personal information.
In hotel data breach claims, both material and non-material damages may be considered in calculating compensation for the claimant.
Estimating Compensation For Hotel Data Breach Claims
Legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines as a reference point to estimate the potential compensation for psychological harm resulting from a hotel data breach. These guidelines are used in England and Wales to determine compensation amounts for personal injury claims, including psychological harm. Factors such as the severity of the harm, the duration of the symptoms, and the impact on the claimant’s daily life are taken into consideration in the guidelines. To use them, legal professionals would need to assess the severity and impact of the harm suffered by the claimant and compare it to the categories and compensation amounts outlined in the guidelines for psychological harm.
Examples of guideline payout brackets for general psychological injuries in the JCG include:
- Severe – £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately Severe – £19,070 to £54,830
- Moderate – £5,860 to £19,070
- Less Severe – £1,540 to £5,860
To obtain guidance on your own potential payout, please call our team.
No Win No Fee Hotel Data Breach Claims
No win No fee hotel data breach claims can help claimants, by funding legal representation without having to pay upfront for it. Such claims are often documented under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA is a type of agreement between the claimant and their legal representative, in which the lawyer agrees to take on the case with no upfront fees, and in return, they will receive a percentage of the compensation awarded if the claim is successful.
The benefits of pursuing a No Win No Fee hotel data breach claim are numerous. It can provide peace of mind to claimants who may be hesitant to pursue a claim due to concerns about the cost of legal fees. It also ensures that legal representation is accessible to a wider range of people, regardless of their financial situation.
To find out whether you could start a claim under a No Win No Fee contract, why not talk to our advisors?
You can reach us:
Find Out More About Hotel Data Breach Compensation Claims
- How much data breach claim compensation could I get – Read our guide to working out your damages.
- When can you claim compensation – Obtain guidance here.
- Calculating data breach compensation – Check out our data breach compensation calculator guide for more information.
- Marriott Data Breach – Find out about the ICO’s action against the hotel group here.
- The Limitation Act 1980 – This dictates the limitation period for a variety of claims.
- Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 – Here, you can see legislation covering CFAs for No Win No Fee claims.