My Records Were Lost In A Data Breach, What Are My Rights?

Has your personal data been compromised in a lost records data breach? Records, digital or physical, can contain personal data that can involve many aspects of your life. A personal data breach can cause significant damage, both psychological and financial. As such, it’s important that data controllers and data processors comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018).

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How to make a lost records data breach claims guide

This article will explain what kind of records could contain personal data, what is a personal data breach, and how data protection legislation works in the UK. We will also elaborate on who may be able to claim, potential compensation amounts, and how a personal data breach solicitor from our panel could help with the legal process.

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Select A Section

  1. What Records Could Be Lost In A Data Breach?
  2. Is Losing Records A Breach Of Data Protection?
  3. How Long After Your Records Being Lost In A Data Breach Could You Claim?
  4. Do You Have The Right To Claim Compensation?
  5. What Could I Claim If My Records Were Lost In A Data Breach?
  6. Discuss Your Right To Claim Compensation

What Records Could Be Lost In A Data Breach?

The definition of a personal data breach is a security incident in which the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your personal data is compromised. 

Different organisations will keep different records, depending on their needs. For example, a pharmacy may keep prescription records, or a recruitment agency may keep employment records. If any information in these records could identify you, it counts as personal data.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body responsible for enforcing data protection laws. While you cannot claim compensation through the ICO, they are able to impose fines on organisations found to be acting in breach of this legislation.

If records containing your personal data are lost as a result of wrongful conduct and you suffer harm, you may be able to make a lost records data breach claim. For more information, contact our advisors today.

Is Losing Records A Breach Of Data Protection?

Data breaches can happen for different reasons as you will see as we move through this section, they can happen through human error or even cyber-attacks. Data controllers such as your employer, GP surgery or your bank and data processors all must abide by data protection laws when processing your personal data. 

It is vital that data controllers and processors train their staff on the importance of data confidentiality and integrity. Implementing the principles of the UK GDPR into their data processing procedures. Organisations should also ensure that any digital files are secure and that they have robust cyber security defences.

When personal data is lost, and it can be proven that the organisation failed in its responsibility to portect your personal data accordingly, then they become liable for the breach.

One way that a personal data breach could occur is through human error, some examples of which can include:

  • Losing records
  • Stolen or lost devices
  • Misdelivery of email, faxes, and post
  • Interacting with phishing emails
  • Sharing passwords between colleagues

Contact our advisors today to learn more about how a lost records data breach could occur and who could be eligible to claim.

How Long After Your Records Being Lost In A Data Breach Could You Claim?

Should you intend to make a lost records data breach claim, it’s important to note that there are time limits. Generally, data breaches have a 6-year time limit unless it is against a public body, then it changes to 1 year.

According to the ICO, if a personal data breach could affect your rights or freedoms, it must be reported within 72 hours to them by the organisation. Similarly, the data controller must inform you without undue delay.

Our advisors can give you more information on how time limits can affect your personal data breach claim when you get in touch today.

Do You Have The Right To Claim Compensation?

You may receive compensation if you can prove that there was a data breach of your personal information. The UK GDPR and DPA are the two main pieces of data protection legislation in the UK, outlining what constitutes a personal data breach and giving the data subject the right to claim compensation in certain circumstances.

Under data protection legislation, you must be able to prove the following in order to initiate a claim:

  • Your personal data was compromised in a personal data breach
  • This breach happened because those responsible for your personal data failed to protect it accordingly
  • You suffered harm as a result of this breach this can be financial losses or mental illness.

Our advisors can tell you if you have the right to claim compensation when you get in touch today.

What Could I Claim If My Records Were Lost In A Data Breach?

There are two kinds of damages you could receive following a successful lost records data breach claim:

  • Material damage – Financial losses such as theft, identity impersonation, and fraud. For example, access to your banking information could lead to illegal loan applications, which could damage your credit score.
  • Non-material damage – The mental health issues arising from a personal data breach, like paranoia, anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as other psychiatric disorders.

The potential settlement amounts for non-material damage change per the type of injury and how serious it is. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) 16th edition lays out possible figure brackets for injuries as shown in the table below:

InjuryCompensationNotes
Severe mental health damages (a)£54,830 to £115,730Where there are severe problems with daily life activities including employment relationships and education. Medical treatment may have been sought out, but the extent of treatment may differ and there is a poor prognosis.
Moderately severe mental health damages (b)£19,070 to £54,830Considerable problem with the above factors, but with a more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate mental health damages (c)£5,860 to £19,070An improvement overall, however, there are still problems with the above factors.
Less severe mental health damages (d)£1,540 to £5,860The award will consider disability periods and how much the injured person's life and sleep patterns are affected.
Severe stress and anxiety disorder (a)£59,860 to £100,670The injured person may not be able to return to work or work at a level from before their trauma.
Moderately severe stress and anxiety disorder (b)£23,150 to £59,860Where professional help has been sought and has improved prognosis, future disabilities may still exist.
Moderate stress and anxiety disorder (c)£8,180 to £23,150A large recovery has already taken place and any lasting symptoms will be minor.
Less severe stress and anxiety disorder (d)£3,950 to £8,180A near-complete recovery within one to two years with minor symptoms existing beyond that,

Non-material damage can now be claimed without also claiming for material damage at the same time, following the ruling of Vidal-Hall & Others v Google Inc. (2015).

However, it is important to note that the figures provided above are only guidelines. Contact our team of expert advisors today for a free and personalised estimate of what you could receive in compensation.

Discuss Your Right To Claim Compensation

If you are considering a lost records data breach claim, we recommend you contact our advisors today. They can advise you of your rights and could connect you to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.

A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement for those seeking legal representation. A CFA lawyer has no upfront hiring fees.

Your CFA lawyers receive a success fee, which is a small per cent of your compensation only if the claim is successful. If the claim is not successful, no success fee to pay. 

To learn more about how a personal data breach solicitor from our panel could help you, get in touch by:

Further Guides On Your Rights After A Data Breach

For more data breach information, we have provided some of our other articles below:

Or, you may find the informative external links useful too:

Contact our advisors today for more information on lost records data breach claims.