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Personal Data Sent To Ex Partner – What Can I Do?

Eleanor Watts

Eleanor Watts is a skilled solicitor who specialises in handling data breach cases and leads the dedicated team at the Data Breach department. Her journey began at the University of Nottingham, where she earned her law degree, and later pursued her masters in law from the University of Law. Becoming a qualified solicitor in 2021 after completing her training, Eleanor's focus turned to data protection and privacy claims, a field she's excelled in since the implementation of GDPR in 2018.

Have you been the victim of a personal data breach which has resulted in your ex partner having received your personal information without your authorisation? As a result of the data leak, have you suffered either financially or emotionally? If so, then you might be eligible for compensation.

In this article, we discuss what a personal data breach is, how they occur, and the avenues available for you to claim compensation. 

Additionally, we will let you know how Data-Breach.com can help you, and lay out the first steps to starting your ‘no win, no fee’ claim with the help of the specialist solicitors we can introduce to you.

For more information, you can:

  • Call on 0333 241 2521
  • Speak with an advisor via the contact form

 

What Is a Personal Data Breach?

In simplistic terms, a personal data protection breaches relate to either the accidental or deliberate loss, alteration, sharing, or destruction of your personal data. There are three common scenarios where your data can be breached, these are:

  • Your data being inappropriately accessed.
  • An individual or multiple people taking your personal information outside of the organisation where they are stored. Additionally, this can also relate to security breaches or your personal information being hacked.
  • Another individual or multiple people receiving your personal information either by mistake or on purpose.

 

There are two specific pieces of data protection legislation that aims to protect our privacy rights. These are:

  • Human Rights Act 1998: Which protects our right to a family and private life.
  • Data Protection Act 2018: As the name suggests, this act protects how our personal information is used by businesses, the government, and organisations. The 2018 act builds upon the 1998 act by adding further protections due to technological developments.

 

What Type Of Personal Data Can My Ex Partner Be Sent?

Sadly, if you are the victim of a personal data breach there is a variety of information that your ex partner, or ex wife or husband, may receive. Typically, personal data that can be leaked will relate to the standard personal information that can be used to specifically identify you as an individual. This can include your:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number or mobile number
  • Date of birth

 

However, in cases where there has been a more sophisticated data breach, ‘special category data’ could be leaked. Under the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is known as the Data Protection Act 2018, specific personal information receives additional protection. Included within this special data category is:

  • Medical records and other information relating to your health.
  • Your sexual orientation or other information relating to your sex life.
  • Information relating to either your religious, philosophical, or political beliefs.
  • Genetic data

  

Either your banking or financial information could also be included within a personal data breach. This can include either your credit or debit card details, and the account numbers and sort numbers relating to any of your bank accounts.

Why Has My Ex Partner Received My Personal Data?

There are a variety of reasons behind why data breaches occur. While we have already discussed a number of them, with a specific focus on when data breaches occur unlawfully, they can also occur accidentally.

Focussing on the reasons behind why your ex partner may receive your personal information, it is easy to understand why information may be leaked. When you’re in a relationship with an individual, your personal lives become intertwined. Perhaps you will share a home, an address where your mail is sent, and even online accounts. Depending on the length of your previous relationship, you may even forget just how intertwined your lives have become. 

Below, we have outlined the three common scenarios that could lead to your ex partner receiving your personal information without your authorisation:

  • Your records are outdated: The company involved in the data breach may have forgotten to update your records like a change in address, which can result in your former partner receiving personal information.
  • An administrative error has occurred: Simply, the organisation involved in the data leak may have sent your personal data to an ex partner without your agreement (perhaps because they have failed to update your address despite you informing them)
  • Your data has been stored in an insecure location: An organisation has not taken the necessary steps to protect your data, and your ex partner has accessed the information.

 

How Can A Personal Data Breach Impact My Life?

Finding out that your personal information has been leaked, especially to an ex partner, can be a stressful or even traumatising experience. Typically, the two main areas of your life that could be impacted by a personal data breach relates to your mental well-being and also if there are any financial implications. Many individuals have suffered from depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD, and other mental health issues, while others have been subject to negative financial implications, simply because their personal details have been sent to the wrong address.

Can I Make A Claim If My Ex Partner Has Received My Personal Information?

In short, yes, you can make a personal data breach claim if your personal information has been sent to your ex partner without your consent. However, there is a set criteria that must be met for you to be eligible to claim data breach compensation.

First, the data breach you have been affected by must have occurred as a result of one of the two following failings

  • The data controller is at fault: This relates to the organisation that controls why and how your data is both collected and used.
  • The data processor is at fault: This will be the organisation that the data controller tells to process your data.

 

If one of these two entities is at fault for your personal data leak, then you also will need to prove that you have suffered harm because of the breach in order to be claiming compensation. This relates to the impacts we discussed above.

Have you been financially impacted by the leak in which case you could receive material damage compensation? Or have you suffered emotional harm as a result of your ex partner mistakenly receiving your personal information, in which case you may have a valid data breach claim for non-material damage under data protection laws.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive In My Personal Data Claim?

Each personal data breach case is considered on an individual basis, meaning that there is no fixed sum or guideline compensation amounts that you may receive if your claim were to succeed. Factors including the nature of your relationship with your previous partner (for example if there is a history of abuse), the extent of your financial losses or degree of psychological or mental harm, or your ability to provide evidence relating to how the leak has impacted your life, may all influence how much compensation you receive.

However, in previous cases where personal information has been leaked to an abusive former partner, individuals have usually received between £5,000 and £8,000 in compensation. We have also seen that the more personal details that are leaked, this can often correlate to a larger sum of compensation being received.

Personal Data Sent To Ex Partner – What Can I Do? Conclusion

If you believe that your personal data has been sent to your ex partner without your authorisation, perhaps because the wrong postal address has been used, then you may be eligible under data protection law to seek compensation. In order to have a valid claim, either the processor or controller of your personal data needs to be at fault.

Additionally, you will also need to provide evidence or documentation proving either the emotional or financial suffering you have been through as a result of the data security incident.

Do you think you have a case? Then feel free to get in touch! If you want to take your case forward, you can fill out our quick form, where we will be able to confirm whether you are eligible to make a claim.

Following this, we will put you in touch with a specialised law firm who will be able to offer free legal advice and take on your case on a no win no fee basis. This means you will not have to pay anything up front to claim and will only pay a pre-agreed success fee (with a legal cap) for your legal representation in the event of a successful claim.

Eleanor Watts

Eleanor Watts is a skilled solicitor who specialises in handling data breach cases and leads the dedicated team at the Data Breach department. Her journey began at the University of Nottingham, where she earned her law degree, and later pursued her masters in law from the University of Law. Becoming a qualified solicitor in 2021 after completing her training, Eleanor's focus turned to data protection and privacy claims, a field she's excelled in since the implementation of GDPR in 2018.

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