Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR – Could You Claim Compensation?

Customer Service Breach OF UK GDPR - Could You Claim Compensation?

Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR – Could You Claim Compensation?

In this guide, we examine what steps you could take following a customer service breach of the UK GDPR involving your data. The UK GDPR stands for the UK General Data Protection Regulation and sits alongside the Data Protection Act 2018 to help protect personal data. 

We look at what data is considered protected personal data as well as examples of special category data. We look at what the legislation defines as a data breach. Additionally, we examine the specific claiming criteria as set out in the legislation should your personal data be included in a data breach. 

If any of your personally identifiable information or highly sensitive data has been involved in a customer services data breach, you might be entitled to compensation. We explore examples of what you could claim as part of your data breach claim. 

Should you wish to proceed with a data breach claim, you may find the process easier with a solicitor. We explore the option of hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor specialising in data protection breach claims. 

Our advisors are waiting to answer your questions about a customer service breach of the UK GDPR. 

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Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR Claims
  2. How Could Customer Services Breach The UK GDPR?
  3. Data Handled By Customer Service Departments
  4. Preventing Data Breaches In Customer Services
  5. Could You Claim Compensation For A Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR
  6. No Win No Fee Customer Service Data Breach Claims

A Guide To Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR Claims

The data protection legislation in place helps to keep your personal data safe. This legislation:

  • Grants data subjects increased rights over the processing of their personal data. 
  • Holds data controllers accountable for when a data breach occurs due to their failure to comply with the data protection laws in place. A data controller determines the whys and hows behind data processing. A data processor may be appointed to act on their behalf. 
  • Sets data breach compensation eligibility criteria. 

Understanding the legislation will help you decide if your personal data was breached due to a customer service breach of the UK GDPR. A personal data breach is a security incident. Your personal data may be:

  • Destroyed
  • Lost
  • Altered
  • Disclosed
  • Accessed without authorisation. 

You may be entitled to compensation if your personal data is included in a data breach. Specific eligibility criteria apply. This includes:

  • Proving the data controller or processor failed to comply with data protection laws. 
  • The breach included your personal or special category data. Special category data is a type of personal data that is considered sensitive; as such, it is given additional protections under the legislation. We’ll explore examples further in this guide. 
  • Experiencing harm due to the data breach. This could be either financial or mental harm, such as anxiety

Contact our data breach advisory team if a customer service breach of the UK GDPR led to your personal data being compromised. 

How Could Customer Services Breach The UK GDPR?

Human error could result in a customer service GDPR data breach. It could cause personal data to be sent to the wrong email address. In order to comply with data portection legislation, data controllers must put in place policies that prevent data breaches. This can include training staff on data awareness. If this doesn’t happen, human error data breaches could occur.

Statistics On Data Security Incidents In Retail and Manufacturing

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority established to help protect data integrity. As one part of their role, they record data security incident trends across various sectors. This graph below contains information on reported data security incidents in retail and manufacturing during the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year. 

customer service breach of UK GDPR Reported non-cyber incidents in the retail and manufacture sector, Q4 2021/22.

Reported non-cyber incidents in the retail and manufacturing sector, Q4 2021/22.

Data Handled By Customer Service Departments

If a customer service breach of the UK GDPR were to occur, this could lead to a personal data breach. But what personal data could be included? A customer service department may process your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth. 
  • Credit card details, as well as bank account and debit card details. 

A customer service department may process some of your special category data as well. This could include racial background information or sexual orientation.  

Give our advisors a call if your personal data was breached because of a customer service breach of the UK GDPR. 

Preventing Data Breaches In Customer Services

You expect customer service departments to keep your personal information safe. They are expected to train any staff with data access in data protection regulations. This could help reduce data breach opportunities. 

When sending an email to multiple recipients, for example, staff could be trained to make sure they are using the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature. If they use the carbon copy (CC) feature instead, the email addresses of the multiple recipients are exposed to each other in a failure to use the BCC data breach

If a data breach does occur, the data controller, which is typically an organisation, should alert you without undue delay if the breach included your personal data and this breach could infringe on your rights. They should include how the breach occurred as well as what data was included. 

 Could You Claim Compensation For A Customer Service Breach Of UK GDPR

If your claim for your personal data being breached due to a customer service breach of the UK GDPR was successful, you might be interested to learn more about data breach compensation. We explore both heads that could make up a data breach claim in further detail below. 

In 2015, the Court of Appeal determined the outcome of a precedent-setting case. In this case, Vidal-Hall and others v. Google Inc. changed the way damages could be awarded in data breach claims. Prior to this ruling, you could only claim for your non-material damage if you also claimed for material damage. 

Material Damage

Under this first head of your claim, you could recover any financial losses that arise due to the personal data breach. Evidence will need to be submitted, such as bank statements, to prove your losses. 

Non-material Damage

If you experienced a mental health injury, such as depression, due to the data breach, you could be compensated. 

To help assign value to your data breach claim, legal professionals will use a text titled the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). It contains a list of injuries, including for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alongside compensation brackets. As there are different factors impacting your claim, we provide the below figures from the 16th edition, released in April 2022, as examples only. 

Injury Severity Potential Compensation Notes
Mental Injury Severe (a) £54,830 to £115,730 Unable to cope with life and relationships with a very poor prognosis.
Mental Injury Moderately severe (b) £19,070 to £54,830 There is a more optimistic prognosis than in a more severe mental injury, however, the claimant is unable to cope with life.
Mental Injury Moderate (c) £5,860 to £19,070 Problems may be experienced coping with life, but improvements occur and the prognosis is good.
Mental Injury Less severe (d) £1,540 to £5,860 A period of disability occurs infringing on day-to-day life.
PTSD Severe (a) £59,860 to £100,670 The claimant will be unable to function at the same levels as prior to the trauma. This is permanent.
PTSD Moderately severe (b) £23,150 to £59,860 A significant disability lasting into the foreseeable future occurs but some recovery is possible with the assistance of a professional.
PTSD Moderate (c) £8,180 to £23,150 A recovery from the symptoms has largely taken place, but some symptoms that are not grossly disabling may continue.
PTSD Less severe (d) £3,950 to £8,180 A virtual full recovery, however, some minor symptoms may last beyond 1-2 years.

Contact our team to learn more about how damages are awarded. 

No Win No Fee Customer Service Data Breach Claims

If you decide to file a data breach claim, you may want to hire a solicitor. You could hire a No Win No Fee lawyer specialising in data breach claims. Their services could be provided under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

When hiring a solicitor using a CFA, you won’t be expected to pay an upfront solicitors fee. To pay for your solicitor’s services, a success fee will be taken from your award if your claim is successful. Legal caps apply. Unsuccessful claims won’t have a success fee to pay. 

Our advisors are waiting to answer your questions. Free legal advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your protected personal data was included in a customer service breach of the UK GDPR and you wish to proceed with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you could be connected to our panel of data breach solicitors. 

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Claims Against Customer Services And HR Departments

The following links might be helpful: 

Further data breach guides: