UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter Guide – Can I Claim Compensation?

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 25th August 2023. If you have received a UK GDPR data breach notice letter, you may be wondering if you can claim compensation. In this article, we will explain why you might receive a data breach notification letter and who could be eligible to make a claim.

UK GDPR data breach notice letter

Can I claim if I receive a UK GDPR data breach notice letter?

We will also explain what a personal data breach is and who could be responsible for a breach of your personal data.

If you have suffered harm as a result of a data controller or processor’s failings, you may be eligible for compensation. We will provide guideline compensation brackets and discuss the potential heads of claim you may be able to pursue.

Finally, we will touch on how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help you with your claim. Our advisors work around the clock to support you with any queries and may connect you to our panel of specialist data breach solicitors if you have a valid claim.

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Select A Section

  1. What Is A UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter?
  2. Who Sends You A UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter After A Data Breach?
  3. What Should Be Included In A Breach Notification Letter?
  4. What Happens If You Get A Breach Notice?
  5. How Is Compensation For A Data Breach Calculated?
  6. Claim For A Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

What Is A UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter?

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) sets out how organisations should handle and process personal data and is implemented by the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). You might receive a notification letter under this legislation if your information has been compromised by a personal data breach.

A personal data breach is a security incident that causes the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of your personal data to become compromised. Personal data is any information that may identify you or could lead to you being identified. For example:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Bank account details

In order to make a personal data breach claim, however, you must be able to prove the following:

  • The breach was a result of the organisation’s wrongful conduct
  • That data breach affected your personal data
  • You suffered psychological harm or financial loss as a result of the breach

If you have received a UK GDPR data breach notification letter following a data breach, our advisors could support you on what steps to take next.

Do I Need To Send A Letter Of Claim?

Pre-action protocols are a set of actions and procedures that parties in a dispute are expected to follow before a claim begins or court proceedings are issued. The aim of the pre-action protocols is to give both parties an opportunity to see if the matter can be resolved without the court.

A letter of claim is an essential part of the protocols. In the UK, the notice letter you send to an organisation to inform them of your intentions to sue can:

  • Open a dialogue between the two of you to see if a settlement can be reached privately
  • Give you a chance to exchange information and evidence to better inform both sides of their chances of success in court
  • Give you a chance to access compensation earlier than you may have been able to in a court claim

A court can refuse your claim if they find that you did not first pursue alternative forms of resolution. It is vital to first send a letter of claim before attempting to claim.

If you are looking for guidance on how to send a data breach compensation letter of claim, please reach out to one of our advisers first. They offer legal advice at no cost and with no requirement for commitment.

Who Sends You A UK GDPR Data Breach Notice Letter After A Data Breach?

You might receive a UK GDPR data breach notice letter from the organisation responsible for the breach. This could come from a data controller or data processor.

  • Data controllers: Decide how and why they wish to use your personal data
  • Data processors: Process your personal data on the controller’s behalf

How Soon After The Breach Should You Be Notified? 

If a personal data breach affects your rights and freedoms, the organisation must inform you without undue delay, and this could come in the form of a breach notification letter. They must also inform the ICO of the breach. They must do this within 72 hours.

For more information on claiming data breach compensation, contact our advisors.

What Should Be Included In A Breach Notification Letter?

If you receive a UK GDPR data breach notice letter, the organisation responsible should clearly describe the nature of the personal data breach and the following:

  • The name and contact details of their data protection officer or another person you can contact for further information
  • The likely impacts of the breach
  • What measures they plan to take to prevent incidents such as this in the future
  • Advice on how you can protect yourself following the breach

After receiving a notice letter, you might have questions for our team. Our advisors are available 24/7 to answer your queries.

What Happens If You Get A Breach Notice?

If you receive a letter UK GDPR data breach notice letter, it is likely that your personal data has been compromised. There are many ways a data breach can occur, from human error to cybercrime. If your case meets the criteria we have outlined above, then you may be able to claim compensation.

The letter should contain steps you can take to help protect your data. This may include changing your passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, or being wary of spam or phishing emails.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing data protection legislation for UK residents. The ICO cannot provide compensation for personal data breach claims. However, you can make a complaint to the ICO if you receive a letter notifying you of a breach.

You have six years to start your personal data breach claim unless the focus is a public body. In this case, you have a year to start your claim. For more information on the steps you can take following a personal data breach notice letter, contact our advisors.

How Is Compensation For A Data Breach Calculated?

Should you choose to pursue a personal data breach claim, there are two heads of claim you may wish to pursue. These are material damage and non-material damage.

Material damage aims to compensate you for financial losses the breach causes. For example, fraudulent withdrawals from your bank account or damage to your credit score. However, non-material damage aims to provide compensation for psychological harm you suffer as a result of the breach. For example, anxiety, depression, or distress.

Prior to Vidal-Hall and Others V Google Inc. (2015), a case heard through the Court of Appeal, you could only make a non-material damage claim at the same time as a material damage claim. Since the ruling, you can now claim for non-material damage and material damage seperately.

All claims are unique, so the awards for each successful case will vary. However, you can get a broad estimate of the amount you could potentially receive through the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by legal professionals to value injuries such as PTSD. You can find examples of these compensation brackets below.

Injury Compensation Range Notes
Severe Psychiatric Harm £54,830 to £115,730 Significant issues coping with daily life, including work, education, and relationships.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Harm £19,070 to £54,830 Similar issues to above, with a more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate Psychiatric Harm £5,860 to £19,070 Marked improvement of symptoms shown by the time of trial, with a good prognosis.
Less Severe Psychiatric Harm £1,540 to £5,860 Compensation depends on the length of symptoms and the effect on daily activities.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £59,860 to £100,670 No remaining function at the pre-trauma level.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £23,150 to £59,860 Some recovery is possible with professional treatment, though severe symptoms may persist.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £8,180 to £23,150 A large recovery, with no significant symptoms remaining.
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £3,950 to £8,180 A recovery within one to two years, leaving only minor symptoms.

These are guideline amounts only and not a guarantee of what you could receive. If you’d like an estimation of what you might receive if your claim is successful, contact our advisors.

Claim For A Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you are eligible to seek compensation for a personal data breach, you may like to make your claim with the support of a solicitor. One of the data breach solicitors from our panel could help. They typically provide their services under the terms of a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When your solicitor works on your case under the terms of a CFA, they don’t generally ask you to pay anything upfront for their services. They also won’t ask for ongoing payments for their work. Additionally, you won’t be charged for their work on your case if you’re not awarded compensation following an unsuccessful claim.

However, if your claim has a positive outcome, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your settlement. This amount is a percentage that is subject to a legal cap.

One of the advisors from our team can discuss data breach claims with you. In addition, they can assess your eligibility for compensation, and if it seems like you have a strong case, you could be passed onto one of the solicitors from our panel.

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