Data breaches have increased in terms of the number and the amount of people affected. Many big companies have been involved, resulting in some very large data breaches and payouts.
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Data breaches have been increasing both in terms of number and the amount of people affected. Many big companies have been affected resulting in some very large scale breaches and compensation pay outs.
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A data breach is defined as the exposure of sensitive or confidential information to an unauthorised person, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
The person committing the breach can be a hacker, violating your private information for personal reasons or for the sake of a bigger entity. In some cases, the offender may not be a professional hacker at all, but rather just a grudging acquaintance of yours.
If a company that holds your data ends up giving it to an unauthorised party without your permission, this is also considered a data protection breach under GDPR.
As you can see, any one of us can be subjected to a GDPR breach. Thus, we must try our hardest to protect our information, starting by understanding why and how a data breach occurs in the first place.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) describes a personal data breach as a violation of secure or confidential personal information by an unauthorised party. The personal data may be lost, misused, stolen, or destroyed. This covers both accidental and deliberate breaches of data.
An example of a personal data breach is when an unauthorised third party like a hacker gains access to your data. Another data breach example is the loss of availability or alteration of your personal data without permission.
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Due to the high frequency of data breaches, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into place in 2018. The GDPR aims at protecting individuals and giving them control over their data in case a third party holds it. The third party here applies to social media platforms, online services, or offline retailer.
The GDPR’s laws state that you can make a data breach claim if you believe that your data has been breached. However, you must first attempt to reach an amicable agreement with the defendant, aka the third party, outside the court.
If the defendant declines your demand or you can’t settle things outside court, you have the right to take the matter to the court and make a legal claim. But bear in mind that you have to let the defendant know that you intend to take the claim to court for data breach compensation.
For the best chance at a data protection claim, it’s important to act fast, as there are strict time limits in place. Missing the deadline could mean forfeiting your right to claim.
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Claims on data breach incidents are happening every day.
Of consumers expect financial compensation if their information is lost or stolen
Of UK citizens have had a data breach and can claim thousands of pounds in compensation
The UK has a population of nearly 70 million people
Of data breaches in the UK are said to be due to human error and warrant compensation
A data breach claim is a claim you can make against an individual, an entity, or a number of defendants. In the claim, you state the defendant to be a responsible party for the exposure of your sensitive information, demanding financial compensation for the damages.
The current law allows you to make a claim for the material damage of the breach, like losing money, and the non-material damage, like suffering from distress and anxiety.
If data protection law is breached, the GDPR gives you an opportunity to claim compensation from an organisation.
The amount of data breach compensation varies according to the type of the breach and the court judgment.
These are some of the typical GDPR breach compensation ranges:
The lowest compensation goes for the mild breach of personal data, such as your name, date of birth, home address, and email address.
You get a bigger compensation for the breach of medical information, starting from £2,000 to £5,000. You can get from £3,000 to £8,600 if your financial information is breached, depending on the complications of the breach.
You can get from £8,600 to £25,700 for the more serious data protection breach cases that have led to serious consequences.
If the data breach has caused any sort of physical or mental diseases, your compensation can amount to £42,900. However, in such cases, you must provide evidence for your medical condition and your financial losses.
It’s important to note that these estimates aren’t fixed; it’s left for the court to decide your exact compensation award. In some cases, the court may deny your demand for compensation if it sees that you’ve not provided enough evidence for your case. It might even order that you pay for the defendant’s costs in such a case.
This is why we always recommend that you seek advice from an independent legal entity.
Under the DPA and GDPR, you are entitled to file a data breach claim for up to £2,000 or more in data breach compensation if:
For your claim to be successful you will need to demonstrate that the company that held your data failed to take all appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of your data and that, as a result of their negligence, your data was released or made available to other, third parties or organisations without your consent. Any company that is holding your data has certain obligations with that data and a claim can be made if:
The average compensation for breaching the Data Protection Act is between £1,000 and £42,900. In some cases, you might be able to claim more compensation for a personal data breach that causes you significant emotional distress.
The following figures can be used as a rough guide to how much compensation you could receive as a result of different types of breaches.
|Type of breach||Possible compensation amount|
|Breach of a person’s name, date of birth, home address, and email address||£1,000-£1,500|
|Breach of medical records||£2,000-£5,000|
|Breach of financial information||£3,000-£7,000|
|Breach that leads to an illness or depression (medical evidence would be needed to support this alongside evidence to show any other losses e.g., earnings)||£25,700-£42,900|
The amount of money that data breach claimants have received in compensation has increased over the years. Initial breaches of the Data Protection Act typically only won about £2,500 in damages related to the disclosure of personal information. However, as companies have been collecting more private data, more cases have been going to court and leading to more precedents being set.
The majority of data breach claims are settled outside of court, but the amount of money that is agreed on is normally informed by cases that are similar in nature. Below are some data breach compensation examples.
|Company||What happened?||Average claim amount|
|Easyjet||A cyber-attack on Easyjet’s IT systems allowed hackers to access personal data of 9 million customers||£2,000|
|118 118 Money||Customer call recordings in which personal details could have been discussed were targeted by hackers||£1,500|
|Blackbaud||Cyber-attack stole sensitive information at software giant Blackbaud that affected other companies linked to them including National Trust||£2,000-£3,000|
|Bounty||Disclosed personal data of pregnant women and mums to third parties for marketing purposes, almost 35 million pieces of data revealed||£1,000 – £2,000|
|Bristol City Council||An email error by council employee saw identities of hundreds of families with disabled children shared without their consent||£2,000-£3,000|
|British Airways||A hack occurred in which 420,000 customers personal and financial details were stolen||Up to £6,000|
|Claire’s Accessories||A hack via malicious code that obtained customer information during online checkout||£3,000 – £5,000|
|Dixons||A hack that saw over 10 million customer records accessed by malicious software on tills in stores||£1,500|
|Equifax||Cyber criminals accessed Equifax systems in USA and stole personal information of 146 million people worldwide||£1,000 – £2,000|
|Equinti||Hundreds of annual benefit statements for Sussex police officers were sent to wrong addresses||£1,000 – £2,000|
|Hockley Medical Practice||Medical data of thousands of patients accessed by hackers||£3,000|
|Lloyds Pharmacy||Private medical documents were accidentally delivered by a courier company to a home in Scotland||£1,500|
|LOQBOX||Hit by a cyber-attack that allowed hackers to access personal data and in some cases payment card data||£4,000|
|Marriott||Cyber-attack occurred in 2014 but wasn’t discovered until 2018 affected 7 million guest records in UK||£2,500|
|National Trust||Breach originated at Blackbaud, but National Trust fundraisers and volunteers were affected as personal data exposed||£2,000-£3,000|
|OnePlus||Information hacked through online store; personal data accessed by cyber criminals||£1,500 – £2,000|
|T-Mobile||Breach affected over 1.2 million of prepaid customers, hackers accessed personal information||£1,500 – £2,000|
|TeamSport||Accidental release of hundreds of personal and financial details of former employees to an individual||£4,000|
|Ticketmaster||40,000 customers personal and financial information stolen by cyber criminals||£5,000|
|A bug inside Twitter led to the private tweets of 88,726 users being made public||£1,000|
|Virgin Media||An unsecured database meant personal information of existing and potential customers was accessed without permission||£5,000|
|Watford Community Housing||Error by staff member meant email was sent out with information about 3,545 tenants containing personal data||£2,000|
|Zoom||Targeted by a hack that led to around 500,000 user accounts appearing for sale on the dark web||£2,500|
All compensation amounts are estimates/averages and are dependent on the degree to which the individual has been affected by the data breach.
Data leaks happen when an organisation provides confidential information to an untrusted recipient. This includes any form of unapproved transmission of data to an external party, electronically or physically.
This criminal act, however, isn’t always intentional. In fact, just under a fifth of all data leak cases happen by accident. Examples include sending confidential information to the wrong email address and mishandling a file containing private info and carelessly placing it.
Essentially, any event that exposes private information in an unwanted or harmful way is considered a data leak. A few common examples are as follows:
If any of the below apply to you, you should check for compensation online right away.
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First, you’ll need to find out what kind of data has been affected, and what steps the organisation plans on taking to help you. If the association fails to repair the damage or to give you GDPR compensation for the damage done, then, you can reach out to Data Breach Claims.
Data Breach Claims will connect you with the kind of expertise the situation calls for. It’ll put you in contact with claims experts who will act as an intermediary between you and the company being claimed against.
You can also report your case to the ICO who will investigate the matter and potentially fine the organisation. If the organisation is found to have broken data protection laws, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) won’t give you compensation, but their findings will help the matter greatly.
If your data is breached, that means that your personal information has been accessed, altered, lost, destroyed, or shared with an unauthorised person without your consent. It’s basically a failure of the system that is intended to protect. That could happen to individuals, companies, or even the government itself.
If you suffer any damage whether it’s material, or emotional because of a data protection breach, then you have a right to make a claim for data protection breach compensation.
Suppose you’ve been victim to a security violation, meaning your personal information has been violated, copied, stolen, destroyed, or transmitted by an organisation. Then you have the right to claim personal data breach compensation for a breach.
If there’s a data breach affecting your personal information, an organisation is obligated to inform both you and the ICO.
The organisation should clarify in plain language:
If you think that your personal information has been violated due to a data breach but haven’t been notified by the organisation involved, contact them straight away.
Under the GDPR, notifications are generated when the breach of personal information is believed to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. However, this process is optional and not mandatory. Therefore, not all data breaches need to be notified to the authorities.
Under the GDPR, there are some points to be included in the notification. When reporting a personal data breach, you must describe the nature of the breach, including, if possible, the categories and the approximate number of data subjects and data records concerned.
When making a claim for data breach compensation for distress, it can be more difficult to demonstrate than proving a financial loss where you can show what has been taken from your account. If your experience of distress from a data breach is serious and you want to make a claim some evidence that could help your chances of it being successful include, medical evidence such as doctors appointments and medication prescribed for sleeping or to reduce anxiety, a written note from your doctor, documented time off work and sick pay, and any other documentation that could show the impact the breach has had in your life.
Data breaches have become more and more frequent as companies regularly hold personal data about you. Having that data breached can be highly stress inducing and you should be able to hold the organisation accountable and claim the money you deserve. Contact us today and we will put you in touch with specialist data breach solicitors who can help validate and pursue your GDPR compensation for distress.
Your initial action should be to protect the rest of your data to ensure no further data breach is made. The next step should be looking into how your data has been breached, then seeking help on your case for compensation.
Here are detailed steps you should take once you’re aware of the data breach.
If an organisation has failed to protect your data, you are entitled to claim compensation regardless of whether you have suffered any losses or not. We can make a claim on your behalf for anguish or anxiety caused by a data breach, but if you have suffered financial harm as a direct result of the breach, the amount of compensation you might be able to claim would likely be far greater.
At Data Breach Claims we work on a No Win, No Fee basis. We only take on cases we believe we are able to win.
If your case is successful we will take a percentage of your compensation as our management fee or legal costs, if your case does happen to be unsuccessful, you pay nothing. This way there is absolutely no risk involved for you in making a data breach compensation claim.
When you contact us, we’ll put you in touch with an expert data breach solicitor who will be able to contact the company in question and use any information you have provides plus that available from the ICO to establish whether your data has indeed been breached.
If you’re determined on going to court, you should have legal support. At Data Breach Claims, we’ll help you determine whether you have a strong case or not. If it’s a yes, our team will introduce you to the best and most suitable solicitors and claims management companies for you.
The experts will give you solid legal advice and help present your claim to the court to guarantee you get the compensation that truly makes up for the hardships you had to go through.
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