A Company Has Breached My Data, Can I Claim Compensation?

Are you asking the question, ‘Can I claim if a company has breached my data? If so, this guide will explain who might be eligible to seek damages after a data breach. We look at the laws that protect the data rights of UK citizens. As well as the evidence that can be used to show if the breach caused you financial and emotional harm.

Below we provide a rough idea of what compensation could apply if your data breach claim is a success. In addition to this, we explore how a data breach solicitor from our panel could help you construct your claim against the party at fault. When asking, ‘a company has breached my data – what can I do?’ allow us to help.

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A Company Has Breached My Data – Claims Guide

Our advisors offer a free case check if you choose to get in touch. Should the claim appear valid, they could direct you to a member of our panel of data breach solicitors to get started. Learn more when you:

  • Connect with our advisors on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us via the call-back option
  • Start a conversation via the live chat feature.

Jump To A Section

  1. A Company Has Breached My Data, Can I Claim Compensation?
  2. Examples Of How A Company Could Breach Your Data
  3. How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Data Breach?
  4. See If You Can Claim For A Company Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis
  5. Learn More About What Counts As A Data Breach Below

A Company Has Breached My Data, Can I Claim Compensation?

Data rights for you, the data subject, are upheld by two main pieces of legislation. The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) outline various obligations for those who use or process your data. The two main entities that are responsible for your personal data are data controllers, those who make the decisions about what and how your personal data will be processed, and data processors, those third parties hired by controllers to do the processing.

It is vital that both data controllers and processors adhere to data protection laws, failure to do so could put your personal data at risk. It is Article 82 of the UK GDPR that states the right data subjects have to claim compensation. Here we look at the personal data breach claim eligibility criteria:

  • You must show how the data controller or processor has failed in their obligation to comply with data protection laws.
  • How this failure in adherence led to a data breach that involved your personal data, and
  • How this impacted you, financially and/or mentally.

An independent body called the Information Commissioner’s Office, upholds these data rights for the public. They also give a working definition of personal data as being a detail that, when used alone (or alongside other information), could identify someone, such as name, address and sensitive data, such as personal data relating to your health.

With this in mind, a personal data breach might be an incident involving the loss, unlawful destruction, alteration, unauthorised disclosure and unauthorised access of personal information. Need guidance right now? Our team are available at the contact details above to discuss any points raised so far.

Examples Of How A Company Could Breach Your Data

When asking, ‘A company has breached my data – how has this happened?’ there could be several scenarios. Below we look at how a data controller, i.e. generally an organisation, could breach your personal data:

  • An email containing personal information could be sent to the wrong email address
  • Replacement debit or credit cards could be sent to the wrong address (despite them having your correct details)
  • Weak or insufficient cyber security at the company could enable online criminals to access your personal information more easily. A real-life example can be seen with the Capita data breach that took place in March 2023. Hackers managed to access Capita’s system and targeted the personal data of tens of thousands of people. You can find out more in our comprehensive guide.
  • Human error or poor staff awareness of data protection laws in the company could mean that a verbal disclosure causes the breach.
  • Paperwork that was not locked away could be accessed and cause a data breach.

There can be other examples of data breaches. Speak to our team about your particular circumstances.

How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Data Breach?

Two types of data breach compensation can be awarded in a successful claim. Firstly, if you have suffered mentally following the breach of your personal data, then you could claim compensation for this non-material damage.

To value your non-material damage, legal professionals refer to a document called the Judicial College Guidelines. Below, we include an excerpt of the guideline bracket amounts that relate to stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s important to note that these amounts are only guide figures:

Award Brackets for Psychological Harm

Edit
Type of Psychological Injury How Severe? Guidelines Brackets Notes
General Psychiatric Harm (a) A Severe Degree £54,830 to £115,730 A very poor prognosis indicatd and negative impacts felt in all areas of the person’s life
(b) A Moderately Severe Degree £19,070 to £54,830 A significant and long-standing level of injury but a more optimistic prognosis than above bracket
(c) Moderate Levels £5,860 to £19,070 Despite similar issues to the brackets above, an improvement seen by the time the case may go to trial
(d) Less Severe Levels £1,540 to £5,860 Awards here are based on length of injury.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) (a) A Severe Degree £59,860 to £100,670 Permanent trauma impacts that touch upon all areas of the person’s life
(b) A Moderately Severe Degree £23,150 to £59,860 Better prognosis which will be for some recovery with professional help.
(c) Moderate Degree £8,180 to £23,150 Largely a recovery seen with continuing symptoms not being disabling.
(d) Less Severe Degrees £3,950 to £8,180 Almost a full recovery indicted within 2 years and only minor issues persisting beyond this.

Claiming Material Losses In A Data Breach Compensation Claim

Material damage is the financial losses and costs that have been incurred due to the data breach. In order to claim back any financial losses, you need to present evidence of:

  • Proof of stolen money from bank accounts
  • Damage to your credit score
  • Proof of fraudulent purchases in your name
  • Credit card and bank charges if incurred due to the personal data breach.

See If You Can Claim For A Company Data Breach On A No Win No Fee Basis

Data breach claims can be complex and time-demanding. Whilst it is not a requirement to use the services of a lawyer when seeking compensation, their expertise and input can greatly support you through the claims process.

With this in mind, why not speak to our team about your eligibility? If your claim is strong, they could connect you with a member of our panel of data breach solicitors. They offer a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

The version they provide may be a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). An arrangement such as this means:

  • You will not be asked to pay any fees for the solicitor’s services in advance
  • No fees needed as the claim develops
  • No fees are required if the claim fails.
  • A claim with a successful outcome entails a small percentage of the compensation award to be deducted as a success fee, but this is legally capped. This ensures that the bulk of the compensation always goes directly to you.

Our advisors can discuss the question ‘ A company has breached my data – what can I do?’ in more detail if you contact us. Simply access your free assessment to see if you are eligible to make a data breach claim when you:

  • Connect with advisors on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us via the call-back option
  • Start a conversation via the live chat feature.

Learn More About What Counts As A Data Breach Below

These links can provide supporting answers to the question ‘A company has breached my data – what can I do?’:

Further resources are available below: