How much is the average compensation for breach of the data protection act?
Guides & articles How much is the average compensation for breach of the data protection act?
I am a solicitor who has specialised in data breach compensation claims.
If you are the victim of a personal data breach in the UK you should be entitled to financial compensation, not only for any financial losses you incur but also for the emotional distress you experience. The exact amount of data breach compensation you are entitled to will depend on a range of factors. Below is an estimation of compensation amounts based on previous data breach claim awards.
From £750 to £2,000- for a low-risk data breach where the information accessed was not sensitive and no financial harm was suffered, the compensation is for distress.
From £3,000 to £8,000- where sensitive information was compromised (medical or financial data breach) but the breach has not caused severe losses or has not been intentional.
The courts have not yet decided on exact compensation brackets. In some cases where sensitive information was leaked, a celebrity was involved, or the data breach had a significant effect on the person, the courts upon careful assessment of the data breach damages can award greater pay-outs which can reach £30,000-£50,000.
When are you eligible for data breach compensation?
Under the DPA and GDPR, you are entitled to file a data breach claim for up to £2,000 or more in compensation if:
Your personal data has been leaked, disclosed, corrupted, hacked, mis-used, or lost
The breach was deliberate or due to negligence
The breach occurred within less than six years
You have not suffered economic loss; you can still claim for the emotional impact the breach has had in your life
The company has offered you a free credit monitoring or anything similar
What personal information is protected under the DPA?
Personal data has a broad definition under the DPA to effectively deal with different types of data that can directly or indirectly reference or identify an individual and such information should be protected from unauthorised disclosures, leaks, or breaches.
What about sensitive personal information?
According to the DPA sensitive personal information includes data relating to:
Biometrics, e.g., fingerprints, voice recognition, face recognition, eye scan etc
Physical or mental health
Ethnicity and race
Political preferences and opinions
Trade union membership
Sexual orientation and activities
Criminal offences or history
How much can you claim for a sensitive information data breach?
In situations where banks have been hacked, bank details were leaked, or credit card information was compromised, the bank will usually notify customers and freeze the account or card then issue a new one alongside credit score monitoring. That does not necessarily mean you will experience any financial loss, discrimination or distress in the future which happens to roughly 30% of data breach victims according to recent surveys.
Medical and health data breaches are also considered to be serious data breaches of sensitive information that equally have a significant and lasting impact on personal or professional life, to a similar extent of a financial breach. If your sensitive data was breached you could be entitled to:
Any of the above with evidence proven severe impact- £8,000- £30,000
Don’t ignore even small data breaches
If you are in doubt about whether your information has been breached you should always double check and not ignore the situation. Ignoring even a small personal data breach could not only mean you will miss out on compensation you are entitled to, but it can also lead to serious effects to your life further in the future. Recent surveys have shown that one in three people who had their personal data leaked had later experienced one of the following.
Identity theft or other fraudulent activity
Financial loss or bad credit
Discrimination on different grounds
Damage to their reputation
Inconvenience, economic or social distress
Loss of confidentiality and trust in businesses in the future with their data
Any breach of your personal data is important as organisations should have sufficient security systems and processes in place to ensure all information is protected and it is their failure when data is breached. Contact us today and we will put you in touch with expert data breach solicitors who can help you get started on your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
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