If you have suffered harm as a result of a breach of witness data, you may wonder what steps you can take next. Many organisations may hold witness data, such as the courts, the police, or another local authority.
Per data protection law, data controllers and processors are responsible for protecting personal data. Data controllers decide how and why to process your data. In comparison, data processors act on behalf of the data controller.
In this article, we will explain who could claim compensation following a personal data breach. We will also discuss the legislation that dictates how data controllers and processors must handle your personal data, as well as what personal data could be included in a witness statement or other witness information.
Finally, we will discuss how a No Win No Fee agreement can help in funding legal representation for your claim.
For more information on data breach claims, contact our advisors. They are available to help you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. To get in touch, you can:
Select A Section
- A Guide To Breach Of Witness Data Claims
- What Is Witness Data?
- Evidence For A Breach Of Witness Data Claim
- How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Breach Of Witness Data?
- Witness GDPR Data Breach Compensation Calculator
- Contact Us About No Win No Fee UK Data Breach Claims
Personal data is information that can identify you – such as your name, email address, and phone number. It can either be used directly or in combination with other information.
One definition of a personal data breach is a security incident that affects personal data’s availability, confidentiality or integrity. This includes breaches that are accidental (e.g. human error) or deliberate (e.g. cyber-attacks).
If you are subject to a breach of witness data, you make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO are an independent organisation that monitors data protection. They do not provide compensation, however, correspondence with the ICO can be useful evidence for your claim.
Our advisors can tell you if you are eligible to make a personal data breach claim when you get in touch.
As we mentioned earlier, many organisations could store witness data. For example, if you gave a statement at a local police station or if you testified in court as a witness, these organisations may store your personal and special category data.
Personal data that could be included in witness records can include your:
- Home address
- National Insurance number
- Email address
- Phone number
Special category information is personal data that needs more protection according to legislation. Some examples of special category data that could be included in witness data are:
- Data that refers to your racial or ethnic origin
- Information regarding your religious or philosophical beliefs
- Health data
- Information about your political
- Sexual orientation.
If this data is compromised in a personal data breach, this could cause significant harm. To learn if you could have a valid claim, contact our advisors today.
CPS Data Breach Statistics
The Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) Annual Report sets out the number of personal data-related incidents reported in the year 2021/22. Unauthorised disclosure made up 2,628 of the reported incidents, followed by loss of electronic media and paper documents with 86 reported incidents.
To make a breach of witness data claim, you must be able to prove that:
- The breach was a result of the organisation’s failings
- You suffered harm as a result of the breach
- Your personal data was involved in the breach
In order to prove this, you may wish to gather evidence to help strengthen your claim. For example, a bank statement that shows proof of financial losses or a medical report detailing the psychological injuries you have suffered.
Correspondence with the ICO and the organisation responsible can also be used to strengthen your claim. For example, a notification letter confirming the breach or an ICO report that found the breach was caused by the organisation’s failings.
A No Win No Fee solicitor could help you collate evidence to strengthen your claim. Contact our team of advisors today to learn more.
It’s important to make note of the time limits if you are interested in making a personal data breach claim. Generally, this limit is six years to start your claim. However, if you intend to claim against a public body– for example, a local council — then this limit becomes one year.
To learn more about how the time limits for making a personal data breach claim could affect you, contact our team of advisors today.
You can pursue two types of damage in a personal data breach claim. These are material and non-material damage.
- Material damage is compensation for financial losses that occur due to a data breach. This can be anything from money stolen from your bank account or charges made on your credit card.
- Non-material damage provides compensation for mental health injuries caused by the breach. For example, depression, insomnia and anxiety due to the data breach.
Previously, you would have to claim for material damage if you wanted to claim non-material damages. However, after the Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc. (2015) case, the Court of Appeal ruled that you can claim for non-material damage without claiming for material damage at the same time.
Below, you can find a table of compensation guidelines for non-material damage. These figures align with the April 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is the 16th edition.
|Non-Material Damage (Injury)
|£54,830 – £115,730
|Severe – The person will have serious problems with being able to cope with life/education/work and will experience extreme future vulnerability.
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Moderately Severe – Similar issues to the above, but with a much more optimistic prognosis.
|£5,860 – £19,070
|Moderate – There will have been marked improvements by trial.
|£1,540 – £5,860
|Less Severe – Consideration given to the extent to which sleep and daily activities were affected.
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
|£59,860 – £100,670
|Severe – The person will suffer permanent effects, preventing them from working/functioning the same as pre-trauma. All aspects of life will be affected.
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Moderately Severe – A better prognosis due to some recovery with professional treatment.
|£8,180 – £23,150
|Moderate – The person will have largely recovered. Continuing symptoms will not be majorly disabling.
|£3,950 – £8,180
|Less Severe – The person will virtually experience a full recovery within one to two years. Only minor symptoms will persist after this period.
These are guideline figures only. However, our advisors can provide a free estimation of what your claim could be worth when you get in touch today.
If you would like to pursue a personal data breach claim with the help of our panel of solicitors, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could benefit you. A CFA is a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement under which:
- There are no upfront or ongoing fees
- If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee
- If your claim does not succeed, you will not pay this fee
Our panel of solicitors can provide legal representation for your claim under a CFA. To learn more, contact our team of advisors. They can tell you if you have a valid claim. If you do, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
To get in touch, you can:
Our advisors are here to help you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, regarding breach of witness data.
Please find below some additional guides:
- The evidence needed to make a claim for a UK GDPR data breach
- How long do you have to report a data breach and start a claim?
- Common causes of data breaches
Or, for more helpful resources:
- ICO – Does an organisation need my consent?
- ICO – Data Security Incident Trends.
- GOV – Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022.
For more questions about a breach of witness data, contact our advisors.
Article by EO