By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 6th November 2023. This guide looks at data breach compensation examples. If your personal data was compromised in a breach, you could claim for compensation for a data breach. However, you will need to meet the claiming criteria. We will discuss what this criteria is within this guide.
Additionally, this guide will share examples of how a data breach could occur and how long you will have to start your claim. We will also explore the evidence that could be used to support your claim, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could assist you with this.
Should you have any questions about data breaches and making a claim following a UK GDPR breach, or the compensation you could be awarded, you can contact our team. They can assess the potential of your claim for free as well as offer you free advice.
To speak to an advisor about a data breach claim, you can:
Jump To A Section
- When Could You Claim For A Data Breach?
- What To Do After A Data Breach
- Examples Of How A Data Breach Could Occur
- How Long Do I Have To Claim Data Breach Compensation?
- How Much Compensation Can I Get For A Data Protection Breach?
- What Evidence Can Help Prove A Data Breach Claim?
- How Our Panel Of Data Breach Solicitors Can Help You
- Data Breach Claims With A No Win No Fee Lawyer
- More Information On Data Breaches And Claiming Compensation
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) are the two primary pieces of legislation that establish the data protection laws of the country. The legislation set out the rules and regulations that organisations have to observe when they collect, use or store people’s personal information.
To make a claim for a data breach you need to show that:
- An organisation failed to properly safeguard your data, leading to unauthorised access
- An organisation used your data in a way that did not adhere to one of the lawful bases
In a claim for a data breach, compensation can be sought for either the financial harm the breach causes you or how it affects you mentally.
We go into more detail about when you could make a claim and present you with both examples of data breaches and data breach compensation examples in the following sections.
However, if you would prefer to speak to someone directly, our advice team are available for free consultations, and you could speak to one now via live chat.
What Types Of Data Breach Claims Can We Help With?
Here at Public Interest Lawyers, we can help with a wide range of data breach claims.
Organisations are expected to ensure that staff are given adequate data protection training. If the organisation fails to do so, and you suffer financial or emotional harm because of a compromise of your information, you could receive data protection breach compensation.
Here are a few examples of data breaches caused by human error:
- Verbal disclosure: For example, disclosing personal data from a medical file over the phone to an unauthorised party.
- Sending information to the wrong recipient: This could include sending an email that contains data to the wrong email address or posting a letter containing personal information to the wrong postal address, despite the correct details being on file.
- Stolen or lost devices: For example, if a laptop that is not password protected is left on public transport, unauthorised persons could access the data stored on it.
In addition to human error, cybersecurity incidents can also result in a data breach. Organisations should ensure that their cybersecurity systems are adequate and up to date. If they fail to do so, and you experience damage because of a cybersecurity incident involving your personal data, you could make a claim for compensation under the Data Protection Act and UK GDPR.
The Capita data breach in March 2023 is an example of how a cyber security incident can cause an issue. In this case, cybercriminals targeted a flaw in the company’s cybersecurity software, which led to the consulting, digital and software solutions firm experiencing a ransomware attack.
If you have any questions about claiming compensation for a data breach, contact one of the advisors from our team.
If you’ve been impacted by a data breach, it’s natural to feel worried and concerned about what might happen next.
Here are some useful pieces of advice on the steps you can take based on advice from our panel of data breach solicitors:
- If you fear that your financial information is at risk, you should speak to your bank right away. They could support you with monitoring or the creation of a new account
- Watch out for any suspicious activity. This could involve transactions you don’t recognise on your bank accounts, unwanted texts, calls or emails.
- Get advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you’re unsure about anything, the ICO offers a live chat and telephone service that you can use for further advice.
- Get legal advice. If you want to make a data breach compensation claim, we can assess your claim for free to see if you could claim compensation.
A personal data breach could occur following a cyber attack. For example, your personal data could be breached through a phishing scam. However, in this section, we’ll discuss examples of when you could claim data protection breach compensation as a result of a human error.
A human error data breach is an incident arising from a mistake, which leads to your data being accessed, altered, destroyed or lost without your permission.
Below are examples of breaches of the UK GDPR, where claims may subsequently be pursued:
- An organisation sends out an email to multiple recipients, including yourself, but fails to click BCC before sending the email. Therefore, other recipients have access to your email address and possibly your name.
- Your confidential information is delivered to the incorrect email address, maybe because of an admin or clerical error.
- A letter for you is sent to the wrong postal address, despite the sender possessing the right address.
- Your doctor takes home a copy of your medical records and leaves them in their car. The car is subsequently stolen, exposing your personal and sensitive information. In this case, your doctor has failed to secure your data, leading to its loss.
After suffering mental or financial harm from a breach of the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act, you could claim compensation. Speak with us for free 24/7 advice on data breaches by using the live chat function on your screen or by calling the number above.
It’s important to be aware of the time limits involved when making a data breach claim. Generally, you may have 1 year to claim against a public body or 6 years if the breach involves a non-public body.
Every claim for data breach compensation can stem from a unique set of circumstances. Therefore, it’s possible that these time limits may function differently in some scenarios.
If you’re unsure as to whether you can still make a data breach claim, get in touch with our advisors today. We can help you determine this.
Do I Need To Report The Data Breach To The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?
If you would like to claim compensation with the help of our panel of specialist data breach solicitors, you may wonder whether you have to report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) first.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the main regulator of data protection laws in the country. If a company violates their legal obligations, you could report them to the ICO. They will then investigate the matter if it is sufficiently serious and will report back to you on their findings.
They may even fine the company involved, or make recommendations that they must follow.
As to whether or not you need to report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office, here’s some important advice:
- The company that has breached data protection laws has an obligation to report the breach to the ICO within 72 hours of discovery.
- The company should also inform those affected without undue delay.
- If you suspect that you’ve been affected by a breach, you should contact the company you believe responsible and ask them to investigate.
The ICO has lots of useful data breach template letters you can use, plus guidance on when and where to direct your complaint. Head here to learn more.
If your personal data has been compromised in a UK GDPR breach, you may be compensated for any psychological injuries or financial losses.
Non-material damage refers to the mental harm suffered because of your data being breached. For example, you could suffer from anxiety due to a data breach if your home address was compromised, as you may worry about strangers arriving at your home. Providing evidence of this threat could help prove your case.
Below, we have created a table to help you understand how much you could be awarded in compensation for data protection claims. The compensation examples you can see come from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that details potential compensation awards for a range of physical and mental injuries, such as those caused by a data breach. Used by legal professionals, such as solicitors, it helps to value claims.
|Psychiatric damage||(a) Severe - the claimant will have suffered a significant impact on their ability to cope with life, education and work. Relationships may be permanently damaged with the prognosis poor.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|(b) Moderately severe - cases that fall into this bracket will have a more optimistic outlook but significant problems will persist||£19,070 to £54,830|
|(c) Moderate - there will have been moderately severe issues, but improvement will be good, as well as the prognosis||£5,860 to £19,070|
|(d) Less severe - amount awarded will reflect how much daily activities like sleep are affected||£1,540 to £5,860|
|Anxiety disorder||(a) Severe - cases that fall under this bracket involve permanent damage to day to day functioning, such as an inability to work and a breakdown in relationships.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|(b) Moderately severe - a more positive hope for recovery, with room for improvement with the help of professionals.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|(c) Moderate - the person will have made a very good recovery, with any lingering symptoms not intefering with day to day life||£8,180 to £23,150|
|(d) Less severe - an almost complete recovery taking no longer than 2 years||£3,950 to £8,180|
Remember, these are guideline figures and your case’s valuation may differ.
Data Breach Compensation And Material Damage
Under the UK GDRP, claims may also include compensation that considers your material damage. Material damage refers to the way you have been harmed financially due to the breach of your personal data.
For example, criminals may have gained access to your banking details and spent the funds. This is material damage.
Further examples of material damage in personal data breach claims include:
- A lower credit score if criminals use your data to take out credit. This could make it difficult to take out credit in the future.
- Debt due to identity theft or unauthorised access to your accounts. For example, a criminal with access to your bank account can put you into an overdraft.
- Therapy and other medical costs if you suffer a mental health injury as a result of the data breach.
To find out more about what could be included in compensation payouts for data breaches, contact one of the advisors from our team.
The evidence you could provide of how an organisation had breached your personal data, or how you were affected by this breach, could be vital in helping you successfully make a personal data breach claim.
You could provide evidence of this in various forms including:
- Correspondence you have with the organisation
- A report you may have made to a regulatory body or any official findings that were provided to you
- Bank statements that could show evidence of fraud, or other financial effects of your breach
- Medical evidence of your psychological injury to support your data breach compensation claim for distress, anxiety and other associated conditions.
The evidence you could collect to support your claim will be specific to you. As part of our consultation services, a member of our advice team could evaluate your claim to give you guidance on what you could collect for your claim, or even show you how to do so.
You can reach out to a member of our team by using the contact information provided at the top and bottom of the page for more advice on evidence and data breaches.
If you want to make a data breach claim today, you may want the help of specialists in the field.
If so, our panel of data breach solicitors can help you. With extensive experience in all types of data breaches, from cyber attacks to those caused by human error, they can support you through the claims process to help you get the compensation you deserve.
They can also help you gather evidence, assess the damage the breach has caused to your finances and mental health, and they can try to negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant.
Their aim is to take the worry off your shoulders so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.
To connect with our panel of data breach solicitors today, please contact us for free using the number at the top of this page.
Working with a solicitor can bring many benefits to the claims process. For example, the solicitors on our panel are highly experienced in data breach law and have handled many data breach claims. They can utilise this knowledge to help guide you through the claims process. A solicitor can also help you gather evidence to support your case and offer more guidance on data breach compensation examples.
Our panel also work on a No Win No Fee basis by offering their clients a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This allows you to access their services without paying an upfront fee, nor will you pay fees for their work as your claim progresses. Likewise, there is no fee to pay if your claim fails.
If your claim succeeds, then your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation award. This fee is capped by legislation.
Our advisors are here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you’ve got any further questions, or if you’d like to find out if you could claim compensation to work with a solicitor from our panel, reach out to us today by:
We’ve included some helpful links that may be of use to you.
- Our article on data breach claims caused by human error.
- How to claim in instances of data breaches caused by the loss or theft of a device.
- How to claim for a failure to use a blind carbon copy (BCC) when sending an email.
- Claims for breach of UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act
- Data breach claims – a complete guide with compensation examples
- Find out more about how a litigation friend can make a claim on your behalf.
- Government information on making a complaint about data protection breaches.
- Information from the NHS about post-traumatic stress disorder.
We also have some other guides you may find useful:
- Making a claim against the council – if your local authority has violated data protection law and your personal rights, this guide offers advice and guidance on making a claim against them.
- If you’ve been impacted by the Capita data breach, a compensation claim could be a suitable course of action. To learn more about what happened, who was affected and whether you can make a data breach claim, head here.
- Data Protection Breach Examples In The UK – if you’re curious about how breaches of data happen, this guide provides some excellent examples
- How To Claim For A Foster Care Data Breach – the data held about children in foster care is very sensitive. If it gets into the wrong hands there could be significant consequences. This guide explains what you can do if affected
- A Rehabilitation Centre Breached My Data – Can I Claim? – if you’ve attended rehab for the likes of drug or alcohol issues, the data they hold on you is very important. If it gets exposed, you can learn about your rights here
- How To Make A Stolen Phone Data Breach Claim – if your data is exposed because someone who can access it has had their phone robbed, you could claim compensation. Find out more here
- Compensation Amounts After A UK GDPR Breach – as well as the potential payouts you can find on this page, you can also discover more about compensation awards here under the Data Protection Act and GDPR.
- My Employer Breached The UK GDPR, How Do I Claim? – it’s possible for our employers to breach our data, such as by emailing documentation to the wrong people. You can learn about what to do in this situation by heading here
- Stolen Or Lost Device Data Breach Claims – sometimes devices that contain our personal information can go missing or may even be stolen. The person who possesses these devices could potentially access them too. Head here to learn about what to do
- Sickness At Work Data Breach – When Could You Claim? – if you’ve had to report sicknesses or conditions to your employer, you expect them to keep it confidential. However, if that information is exposed, you could claim compensation
- HIV Status Data Breach – Could You Claim? – if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition like HIV, naturally you may want to keep it to yourself. So if a clinic, for instance, exposes your information it could impact that anonymity. Learn about your legal rights here
- Breach Of Criminal Offence Data – Can You Claim? – if you’ve got a criminal record, chances are you want to keep that to yourself. If someone, like your employer, exposes that information, you could make a claim. Learn more about data breaches of this nature here
- Does Revealing My Home Address Breach The UK’s GDPR? – this is a common question we get asked when it comes to making a data breach claim. You can find the answer here and what steps you can take as a result
- Claiming After Receiving A UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter – if you’ve received a notification from an organisation advising that your personal data was exposed in a breach, you could take legal action. Find the criteria here
- Dismissal Information Data Breach – Can I Claim? – if you’ve been dismissed from work and that information gets into the wrong hands, you could claim compensation
Thank you for reading our guide on data breach compensation examples. If you need any more help or support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.