How To Deal With A Data Protection Breach – Can I Claim Compensation?

During 2018 the European Union EU created a directive called the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR. It was brought about to tightened up data protection. The UK enacted it into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018. Now the UK is no longer part of the EU lots of their directives no longer apply. The UK has created their version of the GDPR (UK GDPR) and updated the Data Protection Act 2018 to run alongside it.

How to deal with a data protection breach guide

How to deal with a data protection breach claims guide

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the body for governing data protection laws, a breach in data security involves an incident where personal information is accessed, altered, destroyed, lost, disclosed without authority. You may be under the impression that data breaches happen because of cyber criminals hacking computer systems. Although they do happen this way the majority are down to human error.

Our guide covers the steps you could take if you are informed or suspect your personal data has been breached. We go on to offer advice on how to file an official complaint to the relevant parties.

For information on the amount of data breach compensation you may be entitled to, please continue reading our guide.

To speak to a member of our team please call us on our freephone number which is 0800 408 7825. An adviser will provide essential advice on whether your case qualifies you for data breach compensation.

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What Are Data Protection Breach Claims?

Data protection laws offer security to your personal information. The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 dictate to data controllers, those who decide what data is collected, about how personal information should be used.

As we said previously you may think that data can only be breached when cybercriminals hack computer systems. However personal data breaches also happen through human error. To make a claim for data breach compensation you must be able to demonstrate that the data controller did not do enough when securing your personal information and this resulted in the breach.

Call an adviser today to benefit from free advice. A member of our team will answer any questions you have. They can look at the details of your case and if they find you have grounds to sue, they can connect you to a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel.

How To Deal With A Data Protection Breach

When you are aware of the breach or if you just suspect that your personal information has been exposed there are steps you could take. It’s important to know how to deal with a data protection breach as quickly as possible.

As a person (data subject) whose personal information is held by an organisation, business or other entity that gathers personal information (data controllers), if you suspect a breach you could:

  • Contact the organisation and they should tell you if a breach happened, how you are affected, and what you need to do. You should never use any links or contact details in suspicious messages you receive. Instead, contact the organisation directly by phone or through their official website or social platforms
  • Stay alert and look for any suspicious messages you receive in your inbox. This includes messages that ask you to reset passwords, about receiving compensation, missed deliveries or messages that urge you to act quickly
  • You should not panic when you receive a suspicious message that contains one of your old passwords. However, if the password is still in use, change it immediately on all the accounts you use it on. Create a stronger password for every online account
  • Check all your accounts to see if there is any suspicious, unauthorised activity is taking place. The things to watch out for include not being able to login to accounts yourself, changes in security settings, attempted logins at odd times and strange, unfamiliar messages and notifications
  • When you suspect an account has been compromised, contact the organisation.
  • If you are not happy with the response from the data controller you could contact the ICO and ask them to investigate.  

If you need more advice on how to deal with a data protection breach and for any data breach case to be assessed, please contact an adviser today.

Report Any Suspicious Messages Or Financial Activity

Knowing how to deal with a data protection breach promptly and effectively can save you a lot of stress and anxiety. When you get a phone call or a message that sounds suspicious, you could:

You should also keep a close check on the following:

  • Bank account
  • Credit card account
  • Debit card spending
  • Store card accounts

Call our team of advisers today and have your data breach claim assessed for free. If they can see that your case has a good chance of succeeding they may offer to connect you with a data breach solicitor form our panel. Any cases that are taken on by our panel of solicitors will be worked on under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Make A Complaint To The Relevant Party And ICO

If you are aware of the breach, you should contact the organisation concerned as soon as you can. You should send them an official letter of complaint. The organisation should let you know what data is compromised. They should also tell you how they are planning to deal with the data security incident.

If their response is not to your satisfaction, or you don’t receive a reply, you can ask the ICO to investigate the breach. This is optional, but if the ICO finds the organisation is in breach of data protection law, their report will add strength to your case against them.

Speak to an adviser today for more advice on how to deal with a data protection breach. Furthermore, you will find out if you have good cause to file a claim for a UK GDPR data breach.

Check What You Could Claim

If your data breach claim is successful, you could receive two lots of damages. These are:

  • Material damages for your monetary losses
  • Non-material damages for your emotional distress

There was a judgement made in The Court of Appeal that involved Google v Vidal Hall which allows victims of a personal data breach to seek non-material damages alone. In short, you don’t have to incur financial losses to claim compensation for the emotional distress a breach caused you. You may be invited to an independent medical assessment with a specialist doctor to have your condition assessed.

We have included a compensation table that provides bracket amounts for specific mental harm. The amounts are taken from the guidelines by the Judicial College(JCG). 

Mental Illness Severity Potential compensation based on JCG Further notes
Psychological/psychiatric harm Extremely severe (a) £51,460 to £108,620 Claimant experiences very serious emotional harm and it affects their future lives and ability to work as well as their relationships
Psychological/psychiatric harm moderate/severe (b) £17,900 to £51,460 Claimant has problems working and their relationships and other issues are affected too. However, their prognosis is more positive than above
Psychological/psychiatric harm moderate (c) £5,500 to £17,900 Claimant shows a marked improvement with the right treatment over time
Psychological/psychiatric harm less severe (d) up to £5,500 Claimant suffers some degree of mental health issues. This includes developing phobias or disrupted sleep as well as anxiety issues
Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD Extremely severe (a) £56,180 to £94,470 Claimant experiences very serious symptoms linked to PTSD. This negatively impacts all aspects of their lives
Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD moderate/severe cases (b) £21,730 to £56,180 Claimant suffers less serious symptoms than above. However. their future life is negatively impacted to a certain degree
Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD moderate (c) £7,680 to £21,730 Claimant experiences less severe PTSD symptoms and may suffer to a certain degree even when they are given the right therapy
Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD less severe (d) up to £7,680 Claimant is expected to make a full recovery although minor PTSD symptoms may continue

For more information on how to deal with a data protection breach, please get in touch today. You can reach one of our advisers on the freephone number shown below.

Discuss How To Deal With A Data Protection Breach

We can help you start a data breach claim by putting you in touch with a solicitor from our panel. The data breach solicitor will review all the details of your case and if they find you have grounds to sue, they will offer you No Win No Fee terms. Then the solicitor will send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Once the solicitor receives the signed agreement, they can immediately start work on your case without requesting any upfront fees. You will generally find the following in the T&Cs of a No Win No Fee agreement:

  • No upfront payments required
  • The success fee is payable out of the compensation payout you receive
  • If your claim fails, you won’t pay a success fee to the solicitor

Would you like to speak to a member of our team who can tell you how to deal with a data protection breach effectively? Then please get in touch by calling us today. You can reach an adviser by:

Helpful Tools

Government statistics relating to cyber-security breaches in 2021

The Information Commissioner’s Office advice on taking your case to court

Advice On The Core Principles Of UK GDPR

Housing Association Data Breach Claims Guide.

Private Healthcare Data Breach Claim Guide 

FAQ’s on No Win No Fee Solicitors