In today’s digital age, data breaches have become a growing concern for businesses and consumers alike. A data breach can result in sensitive information being exposed. This can include names, addresses, national insurance numbers, and financial information. Breaches could leave customers vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. If you believe that your information has been compromised in a lost or stolen device data breach, you may be eligible for compensation.
This guide has been created to provide you with advice on lost or stolen data breach claims. We will explore how such a data breach can occur and the eligibility criteria for claiming. Furthermore, we cover how to make a No Win No Fee data breach claim, and what damages you may be able to claim for. Our aim is to help you understand your rights and options when it comes to making a claim. Furthermore, we can provide you with the support you need to navigate the process.
If you have any questions after reading this guidance or would like to start a claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Can I Claim For A Lost Or Stolen Device Data Breach?
If you have experienced a data breach resulting from a lost or stolen device, you may be wondering if you have any legal recourse. Under English law, you may be eligible to claim. You could be eligible if you can demonstrate that the breach has caused you harm, and if the party responsible for the breach acted wrongfully.
The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018) sets out the legal framework for data protection in England, and it includes provisions that allow individuals to seek compensation for harm caused by a breach of their personal data. However, to be eligible to make a claim, you must be able to show that the breach caused you some form of harm, such as financial loss, emotional distress, or damage to your reputation.
In addition to demonstrating harm, you must also be able to show that the party responsible for the breach acted wrongfully. This could include negligence, such as failing to secure the device properly. Or it could involve intentional wrongdoing, such as stealing the device to gain access to your personal data.
Making a claim for a lost or stolen device data breach can be a complex process. It is important to seek legal advice from a qualified professional. Should you need help with claiming compensation, please get in touch.
How Can A Lost Or Stolen Device Data Breach Happen?
A lost or stolen device data breach can occur in several ways. For example, a smartphone or laptop left in a public place could be picked up and accessed by someone with malicious intent. In this scenario, any sensitive data stored on the device, such as personal information or financial details, could be compromised.
Similarly, a lost or stolen USB drive or external hard drive containing confidential data could lead to a breach if the data falls into the wrong hands. Even if the device is password protected, it can be cracked or bypassed with the right tools and expertise.
Another way a lost or stolen device can result in a data breach is through remote access. For instance, if a laptop or smartphone has remote access software installed, and it is not properly secured or has weak passwords, a cybercriminal can gain access to sensitive data on the device. They could do so even if it is not physically in their possession.
Moreover, a lost or stolen device can also be used to gain unauthorised access to a network or system. If the device contains login credentials or has a saved password to access a system, a hacker could use this information to infiltrate the network. They could then steal additional data.
In summary, a lost or stolen device data breach can happen in various ways. The consequences can be severe. Therefore, it is essential to take steps to protect devices and data. Examples could include using strong passwords, encrypting sensitive data, and implementing remote wipe features to erase data from the device if it is lost or stolen.
Examples Of Lost Or Stolen Device Data Breaches
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection. It has reported several lost or stolen device breaches over the years. Here are some examples:
In 2019, the ICO fined London-based pharmacy Doorstep Dispensaree Ltd £275,000. The fine was levied for failing to ensure the security of special category data, such as medical records, stored on an unsecured server. The server was also stolen from the company’s premises.
In 2017, the ICO fined Norfolk County Council £60,000. it did so after an unencrypted memory stick containing sensitive information about children in care was lost. The memory stick was never recovered, and the council was found to have inadequate policies and procedures in place to protect personal data.
In 2016, the ICO fined Islington Council £70,000 after an unencrypted USB stick containing personal information of over 2,000 residents was stolen from an employee’s home. The council was found to have failed to implement adequate security measures to protect personal data.
In 2014, the ICO fined Plymouth City Council £60,000 after a social worker’s laptop containing sensitive information about vulnerable children was stolen from her home. The laptop was not encrypted, and the council was found to have inadequate policies and procedures in place to protect personal data.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive For A Lost Or Stolen Device Data Breach Claim?
The amount of data breach compensation you could receive for a lost or stolen data breach claim can vary depending on several factors, such as the type and amount of data breached, the impact on you and any associated losses or expenses you have incurred as a result.
In general, compensation for a data breach claim can cover two main types of damages. These are known as material and non-material damages.
Material damages refer to any financial losses or expenses you have incurred due to the data breach, such as unauthorised charges on your bank account or the cost of replacing a stolen device. The level of compensation you can receive for material damages will depend on the actual amount of losses or expenses you have incurred and can be proven.
Non-material damages refer to distress after a data breach or loss of privacy. The amount of compensation you can receive for non-material damages will depend on the severity and impact of the breach on your emotional well-being.
Examples Of Non- Material Damages Awards
The compensation brackets for psychological injury resulting from a lost or stolen device data breach can vary and are influenced by several factors. One helpful resource for understanding potential compensation brackets is the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication provides insight into past awards for cases in England and Wales for a range of injuries, including psychological harm.
The guidelines offer rough guidance for compensation brackets based on the severity of the psychological harm suffered. These figures are from the 2022 edition of the guidelines and are as follows:
- Severe psychological harm – £54,830 to £115,730
- Moderately Severe psychological harm – £19,070 to £54,830
- Moderate psychological harm – £5,860 to £19,070
- Less Severe psychological harm – £1,540 to £5,860
However, it’s essential to note that these figures are only intended to provide a general idea of what compensation amounts might be appropriate for specific levels of psychological harm. Furthermore, the actual amount of compensation that you could receive for your lost or stolen data breach claim may vary, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
Start Your No Win No Fee Data Breach Claim
At our company, we understand the distressing impact of a data breach on individuals and businesses. All of our panel of solicitors have the ability to provide their services under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there are experienced data breach solicitors who can take on your case without any upfront fees, working under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
The CFA outlines the terms of your agreement, including the capped percentage of compensation they receive upon success, in compliance with the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. This ensures that our clients receive fair and transparent compensation for their data breach claims.
Our advisors are ready to assist you in assessing your case and determining if you’re eligible for a claim under a CFA. If you are, we’ll guide you through the claims process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today:
Our team is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Furthermore, we want to ensure that you receive the outcome you’re entitled to.
Further Information On Data Breach Claims
Now, as well as providing insight into lost and stolen device data breach claims, we have provided some further guidance below relating to data breach claims in general.
Doorstep Dispensaree ICO Information – Here, you can read more about the aforementioned data breach.
Action We’ve Taken – The ICO explains other actions it has taken.
Lost Or Stolen Device Statistics – Here, you can find government information on such breaches.
Human Error Data Breach – Learn more about claiming for this type of breach.
How Much Compensation? – Learn more about calculating compensation for a data breach claim.
Employer Data Breach – Finally, has your employer wrongfully exposed your data? Find out whether you could claim.