Guides & articles Data breach compensation amount examples

Peter Hammond I am a solicitor who has specialised in data breach compensation claims.
data breach compensation amount examples

How much compensation you might receive from a data breach claim will be based on the type of breach that has occurred, the level of risk to you from the data that has been breached, and if you have experienced any emotional distress as a result. It can be difficult to estimate how much compensation you could get just from assessing previous claims due to the number of variables involved in each situation. 

Contact us today and we will put you in touch with expert data breach solicitors who can investigate your claim and see how much compensation you may be entitled to. 

How much compensation could you claim for a data breach?

Data breach compensation payments vary from case to case depending on the type of claim you have made and how severe the damage or distress is that you have suffered from the breach. Claims that involve “low risk” personal information that is unlikely to lead to any serious consequences or distress for the individual can be settled for between £750 and £1000 in compensation. 

This type of claim is generally considered at the lowest end of the spectrum and even though it is important that all kinds of data breaches are reported to the ICO, some solicitors won’t take on claims of a lower value as they will not be able to have a reasonable fee for the time they spend processing the claim. 

What do you need to show before making a claim for data breach?

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 breach could have happened as a result of the data being lost or hacked.
  • Released to a non-related party without your consent.
  • The information held by the company hadn’t been updated and the inaccuracy of this caused you damage. This could relate to financial details of your life for example.
  • Personal information had been used in an inappropriate manner.

 

What is the average compensation amount for breach of the Data Protection Act?

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

 

How much have previous data breach claimants received in compensation?

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. 

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  Claim amount pending
Blackbaud Cyber-attack stole sensitive information at software giant Blackbaud that affected other companies linked to them including National Trust Claim amount pending
Bounty Disclosed personal data of pregnant women and mums to third parties for marketing purposes, almost 35 million pieces of data revealed Claim amount pending
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 Claim amount pending
Dixons A hack that saw over 10 million customer records accessed by malicious software on tills in stores Claim amount pending
Equifax Cyber criminals accessed Equifax systems in USA and stole personal information of 146 million people worldwide Claim amount pending
Equinti Hundreds of annual benefit statements for Sussex police officers were sent to wrong addresses Claim amount pending
Hockley Medical Practice Medical data of thousands of patients accessed by hackers Claim amount pending
Lloyds Pharmacy Private medical documents were accidentally delivered by a courier company to a home in Scotland Claim amount pending
Loqbox Hit by a cyber-attack that allowed hackers to access personal data and in some cases payment card data Claim amount pending
Marriott Cyber-attack occurred in 2014 but wasn’t discovered until 2018 affected 7 million guest records in UK Claim amount pending
National Trust Breach originated at Blackbaud, but National Trust fundraisers and volunteers were affected as personal data exposed Claim amount pending
OnePlus Information hacked through online store; personal data accessed by cyber criminals Claim amount pending
T-Mobile Breach affected over 1.2 million of prepaid customers, hackers accessed personal information Claim amount pending
TeamSport Accidental release of hundreds of personal and financial details of former employees to an individual Claim amount pending
Ticketmaster 40,000 customers personal and financial information stolen by cyber criminals Claim amount pending
Twitter A bug inside Twitter led to the private tweets of 88,726 users being made public Claim amount pending 
Virgin Media An unsecured database meant personal information of existing and potential customers was accessed without permission Around £5,000
Watford Community Housing  Error by staff member meant email was sent out with information about 3,545 tenants containing personal data Claim amount pending
Zoom Targeted by a hack that led to around 500,000 user accounts appearing for sale on the dark web Claim amount pending

 

All compensation amounts are estimates/averages and are dependent on the degree to which the individual has been affected by the data breach. 

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