Is a company sharing your personal information without your consent? If so, you may be wondering whether this is enough to make a personal data breach claim.
The use of data belonging to UK residents is regulated by two pieces of legislation, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). If an organisation fails to comply with these legislations, this could result in a personal data breach, which can in turn have serious effects on your life.
An independent agency called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can investigate and fine companies that fail to correctly apply data protection rules. The ICO cannot pay compensation, so if you would like to learn more about starting your own claim for data breach compensation, you can speak to our team now for free, impartial advice by:
- Calling our team on 0800 408 7827
- Contacting us online about your claim
- Or using the live chat option.
Choose A Section
- Can You Claim If A Company Is Sharing Your Personal Information Without Consent?
- When Are You Able To Make A Data Protection Breach Claim?
- Steps To Take When Making A Data Breach Claim
- Potential Compensation From A Breach Of Data Claim
- Can I Use Data Breach Solicitors On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Learn More About Whether You Can Claim If A Company Is Sharing Your Personal Information Without Consent
Personal data is broadly defined as any piece of information that when used on its own, or alongside other details can positively identify someone. This can include anything from your name, address and contact details to the most sensitive facts relating to health, sexuality data and religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Personal data such as this, which is sensitive in nature, can fall under the category of special data.
Under the legislation mentioned above, organisations must establish a lawful basis for the processing of your personal data. However, consent is only one of the seven lawful bases for processing, and as such, an organisation may lawfully share your information without your consent.
A personal data breach occurs when the integirty, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data is compromised by a security incident. We will discuss the criteria for claiming in the coming sections of this article. However, if your personal data is shared as a result of wrongful conduct, then you may be able to claim compensation.
To find out if you are eligible for compensation, get in touch with our team of advisors today.
In order to claim, the breach has to be a result of wrongful conduct on the part of the orgaisation, and it must cause you to suffer harm. If your case does not meet these requirements, you may not be eligible for compensation. Some examples of how wrongful conduct could lead to your information being shared without your consent could include:
- A bank sending your bank statement to the wrong postal address, despite having the correct details
- When information from your medical records, such as data regarding your medical conditions, is shared with unauthorised parties
- An HR data breach that occurs as a result of an employee sharing disciplinary information from your disciplinary records
There is also a time limit to be aware of when starting a data breach claim. You generally have to start your claim within six years of the breach. However, this will fall to one year if your claim is against a public body.
To find out if you could make a personal data breach claim, get in touch with our advisors today.
There are various steps you can take when making a personal data breach claim to ensure it is as strong as possible. For example, it can be very helpful to collect evidence, either alone or with the help of a solicitor. This could include:
- Letters of notification, or other correspondence with the organisation at fault
- Medical records or report that illustrate the extent of the damage done to your mental health
- Bank statements, credit reports, bills, or other evidence that documents the financial harm done by the breach
Can I Report A Data Breach?
If you discovered the data breach yourself, you can complain directly to the company or raise a complaint with the ICO if you fail to receive a satisfactory response. Wait no longer than three months after the last meaningful contact on the matter to elevate your complaint as after this, the ICO may consider the matter resolved.
To find out if you could claim after an organisation was found sharing personal data without consent, get in touch with our team.
There are two areas of compensation that you could receive should your claim succeed: material damage compensation, and non-material damage compensation. Non-material damage compensation aims to address the emotional distress because of a data breach.
Solicitors often refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value non-material damage compensation. This document provides guideline amounts for settlement awards depending on the injury or illness and it’s severity.
|Type of Harm||Severity||Award Bracket||Notes|
|General Psychological Harm||(a) Severe||£54,830 to £115,730||Very poor future prognosis with marked problems coping in all areas of life|
|General Psychological Harm||(b) Moderately Severe||£19,070 to £54,830||Similar issues to bracket above but a more favourable prognosis|
|General Psychological Harm||(c) Moderate||£5,860 to £19,070||A marked improvement of symptoms seen by the time the case may need to be heard at trial|
|General Psychological Harm||(d) Less Severe||£1,540 to £5,860||This bracket reflects the length of illness created and how symptoms affect daily life|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe||£59,860 to £100,670||A severe trauma response impacting all areas of the person's life with a very poor prognosis|
|PTSD||(b) Moderately Severe||£23,150 to £59,860||Distinct from the bracket above due to the chance of some recovery with professional intervention|
|PTSD||(c) Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||Overall a large recovery occurs, though there are some non-disabling symptoms that remain|
|PTSD||(d) Less Severe||£3,950 to £8,180||Almost a full recovery within a 2 year period and symptoms persisting beyond this timescale being manageable|
Please note that data breach compensation is calculated on a case by case basis, regarding the individual circumstances of each claim. As such, these figures should be taken as guidelines only.
Can You Also Receive Material Damage Compensation?
Material damage compensation addresses the financial damage caused by the data breach. This could include:
- Loss of funds from your bank account or on your credit card
- Fraudulent purchases in your name
- Damage to your credit score
Contact our team for more information on how compensation is calculated, or read on to learn more about claims.
Working with an experienced solicitor can help ensure that all areas of your claim are properly assessed. A solicitor from our panel could help you under a kind of No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Generally, taking up the help of a solicitor under a CFA means you won’t pay them any upfront fees, nor will you pay fees for their services as they work on your claim. The only fee your solicitor will take is a success fee, which is taken directly from your compensation award as a percentage with a legislative cap. If your claim does not fail, your solicitor will not take payment for their work.
Contact Us For Free Legal Advice If A Company Is Sharing Personal Information Without Consent
Get in touch with our team of advisors today to find out if a solicitor from our panel could take your case. After a brief consultation, in which our advisors can provide free legal advice and answer any questions you might have, they may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To get in touch:
Learn More About Whether You Can Claim If A Company Is Sharing Your Personal Information Without Consent
For more reading on personal data breach claims:
- Can I claim for a private company data breach?
- How to report a data breach
- What is a data protection breach?
Alternatively, for more helpful resources:
To learn more about sharing information without consent, get in touch with our team.
Writer Jeff Wilders
Editor Cat Hunt