Citizens Advice Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

If a Citizens Advice data breach occurred and it affected your personal data, you may want to know if there are steps you could take follwoing this. In recent years there has been an introduction of key legislation that looks to protect a certain type of data when it is being processed. In this guide, we explore these laws and look at how they set the eligibility criteria to make a data breach claim.

This guide outlines the eligibility criteria you must satisfy to claim data breach compensation. Then, we discuss what personal data is and provide examples of how it could become compromised.

Additionally, this guide looks at why evidence can be useful when making a personal data protection breach claim, and we provide examples of the proof you could supply. We have a section that details how personal data breach compensation is calculated, and we look at guideline compensation amounts.

Lastly, should you have clear evidence to show you meet the eligibility criteria following a personal data breach, you may want to consider instructing a solicitor for expert advice. Our panel of solicitors work under a specific No Win No Fee contract, and we discuss the advantages this brings.

Citizens-Advice-Data-Breach-Compensation

Citizens Advice Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about making a personal data breach claim. You can speak with them now by:

  • Phoning us using 0800 408 7825
  • Talking to an advisor via live chat on our website
  • Completing this online contact us form to begin your enquiry

Select A Section

  1. Citizens Advice Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide
  2. What Are The Different Types Of Data The Citizens Advice Handle?
  3. Evidence Needed In A Personal Data Breach Claim
  4. Can I Get Compensation If My Personal Data Is Breached?
  5. Could I Make A No Win No Fee Citizens Advice Data Breach Claim?
  6. Resources For Personal Data Breach Claims

Citizens Advice Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide

Data controllers or processors must comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) when handling your personal data. If they fail to adhere to these key pieces of legislation, your personal data could become compromised, causing you to suffer mental harm, monetary loss or both.

A data controller makes certain decisions with the handling of your personal data, including how and why it is used. They can also process it themselves or outsource this task to a data processor, who would follow the controller’s instructions. In this case, the data controller would be the Citizens Advice.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent executive UK body, responsible for upholding data rights, provides a data breach definition, outlining it as a security incident that comprises personal data’s confidentiality, integrity and availability. 

Since Citizens Advice handles personal data, they are governed by the legislation outlined above. Supposing a Citizens Advice data breach were to occur compromising your personal data then if this affects your rights and freedoms you should be notified of this without undue delay.

Personal Data Breach Claim Eligibility Criteria

To make a personal data breach claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • Due to a data controller’s or processor’s failings, a personal data breach occurred
  • This data breach involved your personal data
  • As a result of the personal data breach, you experienced psychological harm, monetary loss or both

If you have any questions regarding the eligibility criteria that must be met to make a personal data protection breach claim, contact our advisors today.

What Are The Different Types Of Data The Citizens Advice Handle?

Data protection laws do not protect all types of data, only personal data and a type of personal data that is known as special category data. Personal data can include any information that enables someone to identify you when used alone or with other information. This encompasses several forms of information. Citizens Advice may process data such as:

  •       Name
  •       Address
  •       Email address

Citizens advice could also process special category data, which is personal information related to your:

  • Health
  • Biometric data
  • Religion
  • Trade Union membership

Special category data along with criminal data require extra protection as they have the power to cause the data subject more harm if compromised.

But how could a data breach occur? Below we look at some example scenarios:

  • The data controller sends a letter containing special category data to the wrong address even though they have your correct address on file.
  • A mass email is sent out, but the data controller failed to use the Bcc field
  • A file containing your criminal data is left on public transport in error allowing unauthorised access to this information.

Get in touch with our team of advisors today, who can answer any questions you may have regarding personal data. They could also advise you about when you could be eligible to claim compensation following a personal data breach.

Evidence Needed In A Personal Data Breach Claim

To claim personal data breach compensation, you must be able to show that you meet the eligibility criteria. If a third party responsible for the protection of your personal data does all they can to protect it but a breach still occurs, claiming compensation is unlikely.

To proceed with a personal data breach claim, you first must show that your personal data was involved in a data protection breach caused by a responsible third party’s failings. Then you must show this caused you psychological damage, financial loss or both.

Evidence can, therefore, be very useful in your case. Examples of evidence you could supply to support your case include:

  • Correspondence with the responsible third party, informing you about the data breach and which of your personal data has been affected
  • Medical records if you suffered mental harm.
  • Financial documentation if you suffered financial loss.

You could provide several forms of evidence to support your case, so contact our advisors to learn more. Supposing a Citizens Advice data breach were to occur, they could also provide information on the steps you could take.

Can I Get Compensation If My Personal Data Is Breached?

If you make a personal data protection breach claim that succeeds, you will receive a settlement. Before Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], your settlement could only compensate you for mental harm if you could show you suffered monetary loss too.

You could be compensated for:

  • Material damage – the money you have lost due to the data breach
  • Non-material damage – the emotional distress you’ve suffered because of the breach of your personal data

Furthermore, legal professionals can value mental harm as they would in personal injury claims. This means a legal professional could turn to the Judicial Colledge Guidelines (JCG) to help work out your data breach claim value.

We have provided a table below comprising guideline valuation brackets from the JCG. Although useful as a guide, these figures cannot be guaranteed, as all cases differ.

Compensation Table

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Harm Severity Compensation Bracket Notes
Psychiatric Damage Severe £54,830 – £115,730 Prognosis will be poor, with person experiencing marked problems with all aspects of their life, such as, ability to cope with life, education and work, effect on the injured person’s relationships and future vulnerability.
Moderately Severe £19,070 – £54,830 Significant problems, similar to above. However, there will be a much more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate £5,860 – £19,070 Similar problems to those stated above, with a marked improvement and good prognosis.
Less Severe £1,540 – £5,860 The award will depend on several factors. This includes the duration of the disability and the extent to which it impacts the persons life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £59,860 – £100,670 All aspects of the persons life are badly affected. There may be permanent effects that prevent the person from working at all.
Moderately Severe £23,150 – £59,860 Significant foreseeable disability but with a better prognosis. Some recovery will be made with professional help.
Moderate £8,180 – £23,150 Injured person will have largely recovered and any continuing effects will not be grossly disabling.
Less Severe £3,950 – £8,180 Within a 2 year period a near full recovery will be made.

Supposing a Citizens Advice data breach were to occur and you have evidence to show that you suffered psychological harm, financial loss or both, contact our team of advisors. 

Could I Make A No Win No Fee Citizens Advice Data Breach Claim?

Providing you have an eligible personal data breach claim, you might want to appoint a solicitor to ensure your case runs smoothly. Our panel of solicitors offer their services under a specific No Win No Fee contract.

They work under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which would provide several benefits if offered to you. This type of agreement means no fees are payable upfront or whilst your case is in progress for your solicitor’s service.

What’s more, if your case is successful, you will be awarded compensation from which the solicitor will take a success fee. Don’t worry though, as the percentage they can take from your compensation is legally capped and only small. This ensures you keep the majority of your award.

Supposing you were affected by a personal data breach and could prove you satisfied the eligibility criteria, you might be able to take advantage of these benefits. To learn more about personal data protection breach claims, get in touch with our advisors now by:

  • Phoning us using 0800 408 7825
  • Talking to an advisor via live chat on our website
  • Completing this online contact us form to begin your enquiry

Resources For Personal Data Breach Claims

Thank you for reading this guide, informing you about what you could do supposing a Citizens Advice data breach were to occur and affect you. For more of our helpful guides, please look below:

For some other help, please look here: