Data breaches occur when sensitive or personal information is wrongfully exposed or accessed without authorisation. The Data Protection Act 2018 defines such an incident as a security breach causing accidental or unlawful unauthorised access to or disclosure of personal data, or the destruction, loss, alteration of such data. Wrongful exposure of personal data can cause harm to an individual, such as identity theft, financial loss, or emotional distress. This is why data protection laws exist to protect people’s privacy and personal information. If wrongful exposure of personal data does result in harm, you could claim data breach compensation. But do you know how to claim compensation for a data breach?
Our guide covers the types of incidents that could lead to a breach, including cyberattacks, employee negligence, and system failures. It also explains how long you might have to claim and the types and levels of damages you could receive. We provide tips on the evidence you might need to support your claim, essentially showing you how to make a claim for data breach compensation.
Our advisors can connect eligible claimants with a data breach solicitor to help you make a No Win No Fee claim. Don’t let a data breach go unaddressed – take action to protect your privacy and claim the compensation you deserve.
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Could I Claim Compensation For A Data Breach?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing data protection laws in the UK, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. The ICO has the power to impose fines and sanctions on organisations that fail to comply with these laws, but it doesn’t assist those who have been harmed by a data breach in claiming compensation.
However, if you have suffered harm as a result of a data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Types of data breaches that could lead to compensation include breaches that involve sensitive personal information, such as religious beliefs, medical records or financial information.
Data breach solicitors can assist you in making a compensation claim by providing legal advice and representation throughout the claims process. This includes conducting an investigation into the breach, gathering evidence of the harm suffered and calculating the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.
To make a valid claim for compensation, you must be able to prove that you have suffered harm as a result of the data breach. This could include financial losses, emotional distress, and reputational damage. Additionally, you must demonstrate that the organisation responsible for the breach has acted wrongfully in regards to the protection of your personal data, exposing it as a result.
How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach – Do I Need To Act Now?
In the UK, there is a time limit for making a claim for compensation for a data breach. The time limit is generally six years from the date of the breach, in most cases.
However, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if you think you may have a claim for compensation, as there may be additional time limits or requirements depending on the circumstances of your case.
It’s also important to note that some types of data breaches may have shorter time limits for making a claim. For example, if you are making a claim against a public authority under the Human Rights Act, you may only have one year to bring a claim.
Overall, it’s best to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you think you may have a claim for compensation for a data breach, to ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines or time limits.
How Common Are Data Breaches?
According to the 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey conducted by the government, almost 4 out of 10 businesses that participated reported experiencing a cyber security breach or attack in the past year, matching the previous year’s statistics. Of these businesses, 31% faced an attack at least once a week, with 20% experiencing negative impacts as a result. On average, the estimated cost of each cyber attack was £4,200.
The study identified phishing attempts as the most widespread type of cyber attack, accounting for 83% of all incidents. It’s worth noting that data breaches can occur in various ways, including physical records that are not securely stored and can be accessed by unauthorised individuals.
How To Claim Compensation For a Data Breach – What Evidence Do I Need?
f you’ve been the victim of a data breach, you may be entitled to compensation. To make a successful claim, you will need to gather evidence to prove that the breach occurred and caused you harm. Here are some tips on how to claim compensation for a data breach and what evidence you might need:
- Report the breach – If you suspect that your data has been breached, report it to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
- Keep all relevant documents – Keep copies of any correspondence related to the breach, including emails, letters, and text messages. This will help to establish the extent of the breach and any harm that was caused.
- Keep a record of any financial losses – If you have suffered any financial losses as a result of the breach, such as fraudulent transactions on your bank account, keep a record of these losses.
- Seek medical assistance – If you have suffered any emotional distress after a data breach or mental harm as a result of the breach, seek medical assistance and keep a record of any treatment you receive.
- Seek legal advice -Contact an advisor who can advise you on the evidence you need to gather and help you make a compensation claim. They will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
To sum up, to give yourself the best chance of being able to claim compensation for a data breach, you will need to gather evidence to prove that the breach occurred due to the wrongful action of a liable party and caused you harm.
How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach – What Damages Could I Receive?
If you have been the victim of a data breach, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. The damages you could receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are some examples of the types of damages that could be awarded:
- Financial losses: If you have suffered any financial losses as a result of the data breach, such as fraudulent transactions on your bank account, you may be able to claim compensation for these losses.
- Emotional distress: If the data breach has caused you emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression, you may be able to claim compensation for this. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the severity and duration of the distress.
The Judicial College Guidelines provide guidance on the appropriate level of compensation for psychological injuries, including those resulting from a data breach. The guidelines could be used as a rough guide on how much compensation could be appropriate for such injuries from a data breach.
- Minor psychological injury: This might include cases of short-term anxiety or distress. The compensation awarded could range from £1,540 to £5,860.
- Moderate psychological injury: This might include cases of longer-term anxiety or depression. The compensation awarded could range from £5,860 to £19,070.
- Severe psychological injury: This might include cases of severe chronic depression, or other long-term psychiatric conditions. The compensation awarded could range from £54,830 to £115,730.
It’s important to note that these figures are just guidelines, and the actual compensation awarded will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach Under A No Win No Fee Agreement
If you have been the victim of a data breach and wish to claim compensation, you may be able to do so under a No Win No Fee agreement. This type of agreement is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, your solicitor will take on your case without typically asking for any funds upfront for their work. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will be entitled to a success fee, usually deducted from your compensation. This is capped as per the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.
To learn whether you could make a claim under such an agreement, why not get in touch? An advisor could check your claim, and if appropriate, connect you with a data breach solicitor from our panel to help you.
- Call an advisor via our helpline 0800 408 7827
- Live chat with an advisor
- Contact us online and begin your claim.
More Insight Into How To Claim Compensation For A Data Breach
Finally, you can read more about data breach claims by looking at the below links.
Report A Breach – Here, the ICO show you how to report a data breach.
Taking Your Case To Court – Your rights are also explained here.
Action We’ve Taken – Read about enforcement actions the ICO has taken here.
Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Find out what compensation could be appropriate for a data breach claim.