Religious beliefs are considered to be special category data under the Data Protection Act 2018. This means that they require a higher level of protection due to their sensitive nature, and their exposure could cause significant harm to an individual. Unfortunately, if a religious beliefs data breach does occur, it can be distressing and costly for the affected parties.
If you have suffered harm due to a religious beliefs data breach, you may be entitled to claim data breach compensation. This compensation can help to cover any financial losses or emotional distress you have suffered due to the breach.
Our guide on religious beliefs data breach claims covers everything you need to know about making a claim. We discuss the types of incidents that could lead to a breach, how long you might have to claim, and the types and levels of damages you could receive.
If you believe that you have been affected by a religious beliefs data breach, our advisors can connect you with a specialist data breach solicitor who can help you to make a No Win No Fee claim. Our panel of solicitors have extensive experience in handling data breach claims, and they will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Simply get in touch in any of the following ways:
Religious Beliefs Data Breach Compensation – Could You Claim?
Organisations have a legal and ethical obligation to protect personal data, particularly special category data, under the Data Protection Act 2018. Special category data refers to sensitive information such as religious beliefs, ethnic origin, political opinions, health data, and sexual orientation, which require extra precautions to ensure their confidentiality.
The reason why organisations must protect personal data is to safeguard the privacy and rights of individuals. If personal data is exposed, it can lead to a range of harms such as identity theft, financial fraud, and reputational damage. For example, if an individual’s religious beliefs are wrongfully exposed, it can cause them distress, humiliation, and discrimination.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations must take extra precautions to protect special category data. This includes obtaining explicit consent from individuals to collect and process their data, ensuring that data is stored securely and only accessed by authorised personnel, and providing individuals with the right to access, rectify, and erase their personal data.
If an organisation wrongfully breaches special category data, exposing it, it can result in significant harm to the affected individuals. To claim data breach compensation, you would need to prove that the breach caused you harm, such as emotional distress, financial loss, or damage to your reputation. You would also need to show that the organisation failed to take reasonable measures to protect your personal data and that the breach was a direct result of their negligence or deliberate action.
How Long Might A Person Have To Claim For A Religious Beliefs Data Breach?
In the UK, the time limit for making a claim for a religious beliefs data breach is generally six years from the date of the breach or when the claimant first became aware of the breach. However, it’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the individual affected by the breach is a child, the time limit for making a claim may be extended until their 18th birthday. It could also be shorter in some cases too.
It’s important to act promptly if you believe that your religious beliefs data has been breached. The longer you wait to make a claim, the harder it may become to gather evidence and prove the extent of the harm caused by the breach. Additionally, there is a risk that the time limit for making a claim may expire, leaving you unable to seek compensation for any harm suffered.
How Can A Religious Beliefs Data Breach Happen?
There are various ways in which an organisation could breach data about religious beliefs. Some common types of data breaches that organisations may experience include:
- Hacking could happen when an unauthorised person gains access to an organisation’s computer systems or network and steals or alters data.
- Malware refers to software that is designed to harm computer systems or networks. Malware can be used to steal data or gain unauthorised access to systems.
- Phishing is a type of social engineering attack where an attacker poses as a trustworthy entity to obtain sensitive information such as login credentials or personal data.
- Human error includes accidental or negligent actions by employees, such as sending an email to the wrong recipient or failing to secure sensitive data.
Different types of organisations may experience data breaches related to religious beliefs. For example, universities may collect data on the religious beliefs of their students or staff, which could be breached if their computer systems are hacked or if there is a human error. Churches may also hold sensitive data about their members, which could be exposed in the event of a security breach. Government departments and employers may collect data about the religious beliefs of individuals for various reasons, such as to ensure religious accommodations or to monitor diversity and inclusion efforts. If this data is exposed through a breach, it could cause significant harm to the individuals affected.
How Much Could I Receive In Data Breach Compensation?
If you have been affected by a religious data breach, you may be eligible to claim compensation for the harm caused. The amount of compensation that you could receive will depend on various factors. In the UK, compensation for data breaches is typically awarded for two types of damages: material and non-material damages.
Material damages refer to financial losses that have resulted directly from the breach. For example, suppose you have suffered financial losses due to identity theft. In that case, you may be able to claim compensation for the costs incurred to recover your identity and financial losses resulting from the breach.
Non-material damages refer to the harm and distress caused by the breach, which may not have a financial value. This could include psychological harm, anxiety, stress, and loss of reputation. The amount of compensation awarded for non-material damages will depend on the severity of the harm and the impact it has had on your life.
Compensation For Non-Material Damages Caused By A Religious Beliefs Data Breach
The Judicial College Guidelines are used by courts in England and Wales to assess the appropriate level of compensation for various types of personal injury, including psychological injuries resulting from data breaches.
The guidelines provide a range of compensation amounts for different levels of psychological injury, depending on the severity of the harm suffered. The levels of psychological injury are categorised as follows:
- Minor: This refers to psychological harm that causes some degree of anxiety or depression or distress after a data breach, but with a full recovery expected within a short period. Compensation for minor psychological injury may range from £1,540 to £5,860
- Moderate: This refers to psychological harm that is more serious than minor harm, but with a full recovery expected within two years. Compensation for moderate psychological injury may range from £5,860 to £19,070
- Severe: This refers to psychological harm that has a significant impact on the individual’s life. Compensation for severe psychological injury may range from £54,830 to £115,730.
It’s important to note that these amounts are only guidelines, and the actual compensation awarded will depend on various factors, including the severity of the harm suffered and the impact it has had on the individual’s life. A data breach solicitor can help you understand the level of compensation you may be eligible to claim based on the specific circumstances of your case.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims – Start Yours Today
If you have suffered harm due to a religious beliefs data breach, you may be hesitant to pursue a claim due to concerns about the cost of legal representation. However, with our help, you can claim without paying for a data breach solicitor’s work upfront.
Such a claim could be made under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), an agreement between you and your lawyer that means you only pay legal fees (subject to a cap under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013) if your claim is successful. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be liable for any legal fees, so there is generally no financial risk involved in pursuing a claim.
When you call one of our advisors, they will be able to determine your eligibility to claim under a CFA and advise you on the next steps to take. If you have a valid claim, they will connect you with one of our panel of lawyers who will provide you with expert legal advice and representation throughout the claims process.
Further Guidance On Religious Beliefs Data Breach Claims
Special Category Data – Learn what other data could be classed as special category data.
Conditions For Processing Personal Data– The ICO explains the conditions for processing data here.
Make A Complaint – The Information Commissioner’s Office explains what types of complaints you can make.
Political Beliefs Data Breach – If you’ve experienced this type of breach, this guide could be useful.
Counsellor Data Breach – Find out what you could do if a counsellor breaches your data.
Data Breach Compensation Calculator – Find out how much you could be eligible to claim.