As technology continues to advance, businesses and consumers are facing an increasing threat of data breaches. These breaches can lead to the exposure of sensitive information such as names, addresses, national insurance numbers, and financial data. When this happens, customers are left vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. However, if your information has been compromised due to stolen devices, a data breach compensation claim may help you recover financial losses and compensate you for non-material damages.
To help you through the process of making a stolen devices data breach claim, we’ve created this guide to provide you with valuable advice on data breach compensation. We’ll explain how these breaches can happen, the criteria for making a claim, and how to make a No Win No Fee data breach claim. Additionally, we’ll discuss the types of damages you may be able to claim for. Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of your rights and options so that you can confidently navigate the claims process with our support.
If you have any questions after reading this guide or are ready to start a claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call us at 0800 408 7827, use our contact form, or talk to us through Live Chat. We’re here to help.
What Are Stolen Devices Data Breach Claims Incidents?
Stolen device data breaches occur when a device such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet that contains personal information is stolen. These incidents can result in the unauthorised access and exposure of sensitive data such as names, addresses and financial information. Stolen device data breaches are a growing concern for both organisations and individuals as they can have serious consequences such as identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage.
To protect their devices that hold personal data, organisations should implement security measures such as encryption, strong passwords, and two-factor authentication. They should also regularly update their software and provide staff training on cybersecurity best practices. Additionally, companies should have a clear data breach response plan in place in case of an incident, which includes notifying affected individuals and the relevant regulatory authorities.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, victims of harm from the wrongful exposure of their personal data may be eligible for compensation. This means that organisations have a legal obligation to protect personal data and can be held liable for any damages caused by a data breach. Organisations should therefore take data protection seriously and ensure that they have the necessary security measures in place to safeguard personal data.
Furthermore, under the Data Protection Act 2018, victims of harm from the wrongful exposure of their personal data may be eligible for compensation.
Is There A Time Limit Applicable To Stolen Devices Data Breach Claims?
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out the time limit for individuals to bring action for stolen devices data breach incidents. The time limit varies depending on the type of claim and the case circumstances. In some cases, the limitation period is six years from the date of the data breach. However, in other cases, it may be shorter.
It is important for individuals who have been affected by a stolen device’s data breach to act quickly if they wish to make a claim. If you miss the deadline set by the Limitation Act, you may lose your right to bring a claim and seek compensation. Additionally, evidence and witnesses may become harder to obtain as time passes, making it more challenging to build a strong case.
How Could Stolen Devices Data Breaches Occur?
There are multiple ways in which a stolen device data breach can occur. For instance, a stolen laptop or smartphone could happen because it is left unattended in a public area. An individual could access it with malicious intent. In such cases, sensitive information stored on the device such as financial or personal data could be exposed to unauthorised access.
Similarly, a stolen USB drive or external hard drive carrying confidential data can lead to a breach if it falls into the wrong hands, even if the device is password protected. These passwords can be cracked, or the device can be bypassed using specialised tools.
Additionally, a stolen device can be used to gain unauthorised access to a network or system. Cybercriminals can exploit remote access software on a device that is not adequately secured or has weak passwords to gain entry to sensitive data on the device or infiltrate the network.
In summary, stolen devices data breach incident can happen in many ways, and the consequences can be serious. To mitigate the risks, it is crucial to implement security measures such as strong passwords, encryption of sensitive data, and remote wipe features to erase data from the device if it is stolen. These measures can help to minimise the damage caused by a stolen device data breach.
Stolen Devices – Data Breach Examples
The regulatory body responsible for data protection in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which has documented various incidents of stolen device breaches over time. Here are some instances of such breaches:
The ICO imposed a fine of £70,000 on Islington Council in 2016 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, which was a breach of data protection regulations.
Similarly, 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. This breach of data protection laws highlighted the council’s failure to ensure the security of personal information.
Damages For Data Breach Compensation Claims
When claiming for harm caused by a stolen data breach incident, the amount of compensation you may receive can depend on several factors. These include the type and amount of data breached, the impact on you, and any losses or expenses incurred as a result. Compensation for a data breach claim can generally cover two main types of damages: material and non-material.
Material damages refer to financial losses or expenses incurred due to the data breach. Examples of these may include unauthorised charges on a bank account or the cost of replacing a stolen device. The amount of compensation for material damages is determined by the actual amount of losses or expenses incurred and can be proven.
Non-material damages refer to distress or loss of privacy resulting from the breach. Compensation for non-material damages is based on the severity and impact of the breach on a person’s emotional well-being.
The amount of compensation for psychological injury resulting from a stolen device data breach can vary depending on several factors. To provide guidance for compensation brackets, the Judicial College Guidelines offer rough estimates based on the severity of the psychological harm suffered. These guidance ranges for compensation in England and Wales 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
It’s essential to note that these figures are only intended to provide general guidance. The actual amount of compensation for a stolen data breach claim may vary based on the specific circumstances of the case.
No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims – Take Action Today
If you have been the victim of a data breach, it can be a complex and daunting process to navigate the legal system and claim the compensation you may be entitled to. This is where a data breach lawyer can be extremely beneficial.
A data breach lawyer has the legal expertise and knowledge of the data protection laws to help you understand your rights and assess your case’s validity. They can guide you on the evidence you need to support your claim and help you gather it.
Additionally, a data breach solicitor can negotiate with the other party’s legal team on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. They can also ensure that you receive a fair and transparent compensation amount for the damages you have suffered.
Overall, a data breach lawyer can take the burden off you and ensure that your case is handled professionally and effectively, giving you the best chance of a successful outcome.
Our panel of solicitors offers their services under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that clients can benefit from the expertise of experienced data breach solicitors without any upfront fees.
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) outlines the terms of the agreement, including the capped percentage of compensation the solicitors receive upon success, in accordance 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 available to help you determine if you are eligible for a claim under a CFA and guide you through the claims process.
You can contact us:
Our team is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
Further Advice On Stolen Devices And Data Breach Claims
Here, you can find some further reading material relating to stolen devices and data breach claims.
BYOD – Here, the ICO explains more about bringing your own devices to work.
Monetary Penalty Notice – Details of the penalty the ICO imposed on Islington Council after a stolen device data breach.
Make A Complaint – Making a data complaint is explained on the ICO website too.
Pharmacy Data Breach – Learn whether you could claim for a pharmacy data breach.
Lost data – Could you claim for lost data? Find out here.
Accidental data breach – Learn more about how data breaches could happen accidentally and whether you could claim for them.