A Guide To Password Data Breach Claims

Welcome to our guide on password data breach claims, specifically tailored for readers in England and Wales. As technology advances, so too do the risks associated with storing personal information online. If you have been the victim of a password data breach, you may be entitled to compensation for the financial and emotional harm it has caused you. 

Data breaches can have severe consequences for victims, including identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage. Identity theft can occur when personal information is stolen, and criminals use it to apply for credit or access bank accounts, for example. Financial losses can result from unauthorised charges, depleted bank accounts, or investment fraud. The emotional impact of a data breach can be significant too, causing stress, anxiety, and depression. Reputational damage can also occur, leading to a loss of trust and business opportunities. However, some victims may be eligible to claim compensation for the damage they’ve suffered because of such a breach.

Getting Help With Data Breach Claims

Password data breachThis guide will answer some of the most commonly asked questions, including whether you can make a claim, how long you have to claim, and what data breach compensation payouts may be available. We will also explore how passwords can be leaked in a data breach and provide examples of previous breaches. For those seeking legal assistance, we will cover the option of No Win No Fee claims. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of password data breach claims and what steps you can take to protect your personal information online.

Should you have questions after reading this guide, or would like to begin a claim, please:

Can I Make A Password Data Breach Claim?

If a company acts wrongfully, and fails to comply with data protection law, people could be affected by a data breach. If the wrongful exposure of their data harms them, they could be eligible for compensation. To qualify for password data breach compensation, individuals must provide evidence that the password breach occurred and resulted in harm, including financial loss, emotional distress, or reputational damage.

What data protection law is applicable?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was incorporated into UK law in the Data Protection Act 2018. The Act sets out the law on data protection in England and Wales, imposing stringent guidelines for those that are involved in storing, processing and collecting personal data. 

Its aims are to safeguard individual privacy and empower individuals to control the use of their personal information. As well as this, it is designed to ensure companies are transparent about data usage. 

Eligibility For A Password Data Breach Claim

Compensation may be claimed by individuals impacted by a password data breach resulting from a company’s wrongful and insufficient protection of personal data. This can include situations where passwords were stored insecurely or where the company failed to implement adequate security measures to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information. It could also include incidents such as malicious insider acts, or human error. 

To find out whether you could make a data breach claim, get in touch with an insider. They could check your eligibility and provide details of next steps.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Password Data Breach Compensation?

it is important to act quickly as there may be a time limit for bringing a claim in court. Generally, the time limit for a breach of data protection law claim is six years from the date of the breach, as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, this could be shorted for claims involving public bodies. It’s best to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as there may be other factors that can affect the time limit.

How Can A Password Be Leaked In A Data Breach?

A password can be leaked in a data breach when hackers gain unauthorised access to a system or network containing user login credentials. This can happen through various means, including exploiting vulnerabilities in software, social engineering, or phishing attacks.

Data breaches can also occur through third-party services such as cloud storage providers. This can lead to compromised accounts even in situations where a user’s password isn’t directly involved. 

Individuals and organisations can take proactive measures, which could include enabling multi-factor authentication and monitoring for any suspicious activity on their accounts. They could also ensure they stay informed about the latest security threats. It’s vital to keep passwords confidential and avoid sharing them with others or writing them down in easily accessible locations.

Should an organisation act wrongfully, breaching your password and causing you harm as a result, this could lead to a data breach compensation claim. You can call an advisor to check your eligibility to claim.

Examples Of Password Data Breaches

Several organisations that experienced data breaches, including those involving compromised passwords, have been fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). For example, in 2020, Dixons Carphone was fined £500,000 for a 2017 data breach that allowed unauthorised access to customer data, including names, addresses, and payment card information due to compromised login credentials for over 5,000 employees. 

Similarly, in 2019, British Airways was fined £20 million for a 2018 data breach that compromised the personal data of over 400,000 customers by allowing hackers to steal login credentials, including usernames and passwords. Another example is Ticketmaster, which was fined £1.25 million in 2020 for a 2018 data breach that affected over 9 million customers in Europe. 

This breach allowed hackers to access payment card information and personal data through compromised login credentials for customer accounts. 

These fines serve as a reminder of the importance of implementing robust security measures to safeguard personal information and prevent unauthorised access, and highlight the serious consequences that organisations face for failing to protect user login credentials and prevent data breaches.

Password Data Breach Compensation Payouts

Payouts for a password data breach can vary, depending on the specific damages suffered by the victim. In successful claims, compensation can be awarded for material (financial) damages caused, as well as for non-material damages for emotional distress/psychological harm.

The Judicial College Guidelines offer a guide for calculating compensation in personal injury cases. Legal professionals could use these when assessing compensation for psychological injuries in data breach claims. 

The guidelines assess the severity of psychological damage, its duration, and the impact on the victim’s usual life. 

Compensation guideline ranges for psychological injuries vary depending on the severity of the case. 

For example, compensation for severe psychological injury could be between £54,830 to £115,730. Less severe injuries could range from £1,540 to £5,860. 

These guidelines serve as a rough guide only, however. Our helpline is available to provide further insight into the amount of data breach compensation a victim may receive. 

No Win No Fee Password Data Breach Claims

As we have mentioned, password data breaches can result in stolen passwords, which can cause financial harm and emotional distress. If you’ve been affected, you may be able to pursue a claim without paying legal fees upfront through a No Win No Fee arrangement. This type of agreement is documented under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), where the lawyer takes on the case at no upfront cost and receives a percentage of the compensation if the claim is successful. This percentage is capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

The benefits of a No Win No Fee claim include accessibility to legal representation regardless of financial circumstances, and peace of mind for claimants concerned about the cost of legal fees. To explore your options for pursuing a claim, you can speak with an advisor through multiple channels, including:

Further Guidance On Password Data Breach Claims

Here, we have provided further guidance on password data breach claims. 

Information On The Dixons Data Breach – The ICO provided a notice describing the action they took in the Dixons data breach.

Data Protection Complaints – Find out how to make a complaint via the Government’s website.

Is Your Password Secure? – Find advice on making a secure password here.

Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Find out how much a claim could be worth here.

GDPR Data Breach Claims – Further insight into data breach claims.

Human Error Data Breaches – Learn more about claiming for data breaches caused by human error.