In this guide, we’ll discuss human error data breach examples. We will explore the eligibility criteria that must be met in order to claim compensation for a data breach and the steps you can take to support your potential claim, including gathering evidence and seeking legal advice.
Firstly, you should know what a personal data breach is. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) describes a breach of your personal data as a security incident that affects the availability, confidentiality and integrity of your personal data. Personal data can include information that can be used to identify you as a living person, such as your name, email address and home address.
The ICO is a an independent body in the UK that is set to uphold information rights. They are also responsible for ensuring data controllers and processors adhere to data protection law in place to protect your personal data. This includes the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). A data controller sets the purpose for processing whilst a data controller acts on their instruction. Both have a responsibility to protect your personal information under these pieces of legislation.
We will explore what is classed as personal data and how it could be breached through human error in more detail throughout our guide. Furthermore, we will discuss the way you could be affected and how compensation aims to address this.
For more information, please get in touch with an advisor. They can offer legal advice for free and answer any questions you might have regarding your potential claim. To get in touch, you can:
- Call 0800 408 7827
- Complete contact form online
- Speak with an advisor via the live chat feature below.
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- Human Error Data Breach Examples – What Compensation Could I Receive?
- When Are You Eligible To Make A Data Breach Claim?
- Human Error Data Breach Examples
- What Evidence Can I Collect To Claim Compensation For A Human Error Data Breach?
- Start A Data Breach Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Learn More About Making A Data Breach Compensation Claim
You may wonder ‘how much compensation for a data breach can I get?’. However, each case is unique so it can be difficult to provide a definitive figure. Generally, though, you could receive a settlement comprising compensation for non-material damage. This accounts for the psychological injury caused by a personal data breach.
Solicitors can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value this aspect of your settlement. This is a document that contains guideline award brackets. We have used some of these in the table below. However, you should only use them as a guide.
|Harm||Guideline Compensation Amount||Notes|
|Severe Psychological Harm||£54,830 - £115,730||The injured person may have issues with several areas of their life and a prognosis that is poor.|
|Moderately Severe Psychological Harm||£19,070 - £54,830||The injured person may experience significant problems in several areas of their life but the prognosis will be better.|
|Moderate Psychological Harm||£5,860 - £19,070||Significant improvement will have been made and the prognosis will be good.|
|Less Severe Psychological Harm||£1,540 - £5,860||How long the person's daily activities and sleep are affected and to what extent will be considered when valuing the award.|
|Severe Anxiety Disorder||£59,860 - £100,670||All aspects of life are negatively affected.|
|Moderately Severe Anxiety Disorder||£23,150 - £59,860||Significant disability is likely for the foreseeable future but there is a better prognosis after receiving professional help.|
|Moderate Anxiety Disorder||£8,180 - £23,150||Persisting issues are not majorly disabling and the person will have made a significant recovery.|
|Less Severe Anxiety Disorder||£3,950 - £8,180||Only minor symptoms continue over a long period and the person has virtually recovered.|
Material Damage When Claiming Data Breach Compensation
You could also receive compensation for material damage which relates to the financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the personal data breach. For example, you may have your credit card details stolen leading to fraudulent purchases being made in your name.
You should have evidence of the financial harm you have suffered, including bank statements or receipts.
For more information on the data breach compensation payout you could receive following a successful claim, please get in touch using the details provided above.
It’s important to understand when you would be eligible to claim following a breach of data protection law.
As mentioned, the data controller and processor have a responsibility to protect your personal data as per the UK GDPR and DPA. A failure to do so could lead to a data breach in which your personal data is compromised. It could also lead to you experiencing emotional harm or financial loss. In this circumstance, you could be eligible to start a personal data breach claim.
The consequences of a data breach in which your personal information is affected could see you experience distress, stress and anxiety. Additionally, you could be affected financially. The compensation you receive should address the ways in which you have been affected.
What Is The Time Limit To Claim Data Breach Compensation?
The general time limit for starting a personal data breach claim is 6 years. However, this is reduced to 1 year when claiming against a public body.
If you are unsure about the limitation period to begin your claim, speak to an advisor for free at any time. They can also provide further guidance on the eligibility criteria that must be met in order for you to seek compensation.
Data breaches can happen for various reasons including human error and as a result of a cyber attack. A data breach involving a cyber security incident can involve an organisation failing to ensure they updated their online security measures were up to date making them more susceptible to a ransomware attack.
Human error data breach examples include:
- A member of staff sends a mass email but fails to select BCC before sending, meaning that other recipients of the email have access to your email address and potentially your name.
- A letter containing your personal data, such as your medical records, is sent to the wrong home address, despite an organisation having your correct home address on file.
- An employee might leave physical copies of your personal data in an unlocked filing cabinet, allowing others to potentially access your information without authorisation.
Following a data breach in which you suffered harm or loss, you should gather evidence to show it was a result of a data controller or processor’s failings.
After a human error data breach, examples of evidence you could gather include:
- Medical records that show you have suffered psychological harm such as distress after a data breach
- Any correspondence you have had with the organisation responsible for the breach
- Evidence of financial losses such as receipts, credit card statements and bank statements
Additionally, you may find it beneficial to work with a data breach solicitor from our panel to help you through the claims process. They can help you gather evidence and ensure you put forward a full and complete case.
How To Report A Data Breach
You can report a data breach by getting in touch with the organisation that is responsible. You can do this by sending them an email or writing a letter. Make sure to keep hold of any correspondence as this may be used as evidence when you put forward a claim.
If you get no response, or aren’t satisfied with the organisation’s response, you can escalate the matter by notifying the ICO. Although the ICO cannot offer compensation to you, they can investigate the organisation and issue penalties. Additionally, their findings can be used as evidence to support your claim.
Get in touch for more information on what to do if you suspect a data breach has affected your personal information.
If you want to claim data breach compensation, you may benefit from using a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. They could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is one type of No Win No Fee contract and typically allows you to access their services without paying an upfront or ongoing fee.
Additionally, you aren’t required to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim is not successful. Instead, upon the completion of a successful claim, a success fee is paid to your solicitor from your data breach compensation. Under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the fee is capped.
To learn more about working with a solicitor on this basis, get in touch with our team. You can reach them by:
- Calling 0800 408 7827
- Completing contact form online
- Speaking with an advisor via the live chat feature below.
Below are some more of our guides relating to data breach claims:
- County Council Data Breach – Information on how to claim compensation following a county council data breach.
- Can I Claim For An Employee Data Breach? – Guidance on whether you’re eligible to claim as an employee affected by a data breach at work.
- Estate Agent Breach Of Data Protection – Guidance on getting compensation after an estate agent breached your personal data.
You also might find the following resources helpful:
- Data Protection – Government guidance on data protection.
- Data Security Incident Trends – Data breach statistics from the ICO
- Mental Health Services – Where to get help for mental health issues.
Thank you for reading this guide on when you could be eligible to claim for a human error data breach and examples of the compensation you could be awarded. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any additional questions.
Writer Lewis Julius
Editor Meg Moon