If a fellow employee shared your data on WhatsApp, and this caused you to suffer harm, then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
In this guide, we will discuss employee data and the steps that should be taken by organisations that process the personal data of UK residents. We will also explain who can make a claim for a breach of personal data and how to make a claim if your case meets the required criteria.
This guide will also discuss data breach compensation and how solicitors and other legal professionals calculate settlement awards for employee data breach claims.
If you have more questions that this guide cannot answer, please get in touch with our team of advisors today. They can offer you free legal advice surrounding the claim you wish to make, and they can also tell you if your claim could be valid. If it is, they may then put you in touch with an expert solicitor from our panel. To learn more:
Select A Section
- What Is Employee Data?
- When Could Employee Data Be Shared Via WhatsApp?
- Could You Claim If An Employee Shared Your Data On WhatsApp?
- How To Claim If An Employee Shared Your Data Via WhatsApp
- What Could You Claim If An Employee Shared Your Data On WhatsApp?
- Claiming With No Win No Fee Agreements
Employee data is data that your employer or fellow colleagues, such as those in the HR department, may hold on you as an employee. Not all employee data is personal data, but some could be classed as so.
Personal data is any data that, with other information or used alone, could identify you as a living person. This data is protected for UK residents by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), as well as the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).
If an employee shares your personal data over WhatsApp and this allows its integrity, availability, or confidentiality to be compromised, this is the definition of a data breach. But, you cannot claim for any employee data breach. We will discuss who can make a claim for a personal data breach later on in this article.
Data controllers and data processors must both comply with this legislation. A data controller is in charge of deciding how to use your data and why they need to; the data processor then follows the controller’s instructions to process it.
Get in touch with our team of advisors today to learn more, or read on to learn how an employee could breach the UK GDPR.
As mentioned above, not all cases of a personal data breach can form a claim. This is because, according to the UK GDPR, your case must meet certain criteria. For example, you must experience harm because of the breach. Also, it must occur because of the data controller or data processor’s failings.
With this in mind, some examples of how your data could be shared via WhatsApp include:
- Data misdelivery: For example, your email address or other personal data could be sent to the wrong number over Whats App, allowing unauthorized third-party access to your data.
- Unlawful sharing: One example of unlawful sharing could be if a member of the human resources department takes a picture of your disciplinary information, and sends it over WhatsApp to an unauthorised colleague.
- Inadequate training: Human error is a common cause of personal data breaches. If your employer does not provide adequate data protection training, then this could lead to another employee breaching your personal data over WhatsApp.
Get in touch with our advisors today if these examples of data protection breaches are similar to yours. Or, read on to find out who could claim if an employee shared their data on WhatsApp.
As mentioned in the section above, the UK GDPR outlines who is eligible to make a valid personal data breach claim. To do so, you must be able to prove that:
- Your personal data was affected by a personal data breach
- This breach was caused by wrongful conduct on behalf of the processor or controller
- You experienced harm because of the breach
If an employee shared your employee data over WhatsApp, it’s important to note that your claim would be made against the organisation that employs you and not the app.
You could suffer anxiety due to a data breach or depression because of a breach. These are both examples of psychological harm you could suffer and claim for. You might also experience financial harm because of the breach. For example, money could be stolen from your bank account.
If an employee shared your data on WhatsApp and your case meets all three of these criteria, then you may be able to make a claim. Get in touch to learn more.
If a data breach occurs that could affect your rights or freedoms, then the organisation responsible must alert the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours. The ICO is an independent data protection watchdog, and they are responsible for upholding the legislation mentioned previously in this article.
If you receive notification that your personal data was compromised, or if you suspect a breach has occurred, you can contact the organisation responsible. They could then offer more information. For example, they could tell you what data was included or how the breach occurred.
If the organisation does not respond, you can complain to the ICO. The ICO can’t offer compensation, but they can investigate the breach, and can impose a fine on the organisation responsible.
To learn more about how to claim, get in touch with our advisors.
There are two types of compensation you could claim for in a personal data breach claim. These are non-material damage, and material damage.
Non-material damage is the psychological harm you suffer because of the breach, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. Below, there is a table of compensation brackets taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document helps solicitors, judges, and legal experts when they value claims by providing guideline settlement amounts.
Please note that while these figures refer to non-material damage compensation, they are not guarantees, and should only be read as guidelines.
|Level of Injury
|Psychiatric Damage – Severe
|Serious symptoms mean the ability to cope with all areas of life is impacted, and there is a very poor prognosis.
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Psychiatric Damage – Moderately Severe
|Symptoms are similar to the bracket above. However, the prognosis here is better.
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Psychiatric Damage – Moderate
|By the time the case may be heard at trial, symptoms show as improved.
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Psychiatric Damage – Less Severe
|This bracket considers the length of time affected by the symptoms, as well as the way symptoms affect daily life.
|£1,540 to £5,860
|PTSD – Severe
|Symptoms in this bracket are permanent and severe and leave no ability remaining to work or function as they would have before the trauma.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|PTSD – Moderately Severe
|With professional treatment, there may be some recovery, leading to a better prognosis.
|£23,150 to £59,860
|PTSD – Moderate
|A large recovery takes place, and any symptoms that remain are not grossly disabling.
|£8,180 to £23,150
|PTSD – Less Severe
|Virtually full recovery occurs, though some minor symptoms may continue.
|£3,950 to £8,180
Material damage refers to the financial harm caused by the breach. For example, damage to your credit score would fall under material damage. Collecting invoices, bills and receipts can help strengthen a claim for material damage compensation.
To learn more about claiming compensation for a personal data breach, get in touch with our team.
If an employee shared your data on WhatsApp, and this caused you harm, you may be interested in making a claim. Our panel of solicitors could help you do this under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
With a No Win No Fee arrangement such as this, you can access the services of a legal expert without typically paying any upfront fees. The only time you will be asked to pay your CFA solicitor a fee is if you make a successful claim. In this case, they will take a success fee directly from your compensation as a percentage with a legal cap. But, if your claim goes on to fail, you will not be required to pay your solicitor a fee for their work.
To find out how a our panel of solicitors could potentially help you make a claim:
Related Data Breach Claims
For more guides surrounding personal data breach claims:
- Police force data breach – Essential claims guide
- Credit card data breach – How to claim
- How to make a claim for stolen documents
Or, for further resources:
For more information on claiming if an employee shared your data over WhatsApp, get in touch today.
Article by NA