Have you been subject to a stolen computer data breach? In this article, we will show what data can be compromised and how this could impact you. We will also explain, the next steps you should take as well as the possible compensation you may be able to receive.
A stolen computer data breach can be a very serious security incident as personal and work computers can contain a lot of sensitive information. It can have an impact on your mental health and further affect your physical health, workability and your close relationships with friends and family.
If you have suffered because of a stolen computer data breach and are in need of legal advice, our advisors are available to answer any of your questions. They can help find out whether your claim is valid and can connect you with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors who can help start your claim. You can contact our advisors by:
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- What Is A Stolen Computer Data Breach?
- What Data Could A Stolen Computer Contain?
- How You Could Be Impacted By A Stolen Computer Data Breach
- What Should You Do If Your Data Privacy Has Been Breached?
- What Could You Claim For A Stolen Computer Data Breach?
- How Public Interest Lawyers Could Help You
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 are both pieces of legislation that define data security. A personal data breach is defined as a data security incident that compromises personal data by altering, disclosing, losing, transmitting, destroying, storing, accessing or processing without a lawful basis.
The entities that lawfully process your data can include:
- Data controllers – Usually an organisation that determines what your data will be used for and how it is processed.
- Data processors – An entity that can process your data on behalf of the controller.
The UK GDPR puts in place lawful bases to ensure your data is processed correctly. Each of the lawful bases is equally important and one is not held in higher regard than the others. These lawful bases are:
- Legal obligation
- Vital interests
- Public task
- Legitimate interests
For a personal data breach claim to be successful it must be shown how the data controller or processor failed to keep your personal information safe. If they took all the right precautions but a data breach happened anyway a claim is less likely.
Read on to find out if you could be eligible to make a personal data breach claim or contact our advisors today for free legal advice about your data breach.
Cyber Crime Statistics
In Q3 of 2021/22, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) documented 2,404 data security incidents. There were 1,773 non-cyber and 631 cyber incidents documented, and the most common incident reported was email data breaches. The emails included personal information that was sent to the wrong recipient and it amounted to 419 cases in total.
According to Action Fraud, they documented, in their cybercrime trends, 31,322 reports of cybercrime. The top 3 most common cybercrimes were hacking social media and email, computer malware and personal hacking.
A stolen computer data breach can compromise your personal data. The UK GDPR defines personal data as any information that can identify you as an individual, which can include:
- Email Address
- Location data
- Identification numbers, such as NHS Number or National Insurance Number
The UK GDPR elaborates upon personal data and adds a list of sensitive information under their special category data, which includes:
- Political affiliations
- Ethnic or racial origin
- Philosophical or religious beliefs
- Trade union membership
- Genetic data
- Biometric data
- Health data
- Sex life and orientation
Contact our advisors for free relevant advice around the compromisation of personal information in a stolen computer data breach claim.
A stolen or lost device data breach may have a considerable impact on you and your life. Information contained in a computer data base can include lots of personal information such as name, address, DOB, but it can also include your financial information such as banking details or medical data. If this information was to be exposed it could not only cause financial losses but also considerable mental suffering.
Data breaches can cause unneeded stress which can have a lot of side and aftereffects. Stress is a natural bodily reaction to feeling under pressure or threatened and an overwhelming amount may have a detrimental effect on your well-being.
According to the NHS, stress can cause both physical and mental symptoms. The physical problems can be:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Stomach problems
- Increased heartbeat and chest pain
- Sexual dysfunction
Alternatively, the mental problems include:
- Concentration difficulties
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Persistent worrying
Get in touch with our advisors today if a data breach, because of a lost or stolen device, has had an impact on your health and well-being as well as your finances.
The UK is subject to stringent data protection laws. The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 are two pieces of data protection legislation that outline the necessary steps a data controller or processor has to take to ensure that their subject’s data is secured and processed lawfully.
There are steps you can take in a stolen computer data breach to mitigate the potential harm.
- Don’t panic.
- Find out what has happened by making a complaint to the data controller
- Change your passwords to your accounts and inform your bank of any compromised financial information.
- Assess the risk.
- Contact the ICO to investigate if you are not happy with the data controller response.
- Seek legal help
Contact our advisors for more information on what to do after a stolen computer data breach now.
If you decide to make a claim for a data protection breach, and it is successful you may be eligible to receive compensation for two different types of damages, which are:
- Non-material damages – The mental harm suffered due to the data breach, encompassing anxiety, depression, stress, paranoia and other potential psychological conditions.
- Material damages – The physical damages include the theft of banking information leading to stolen money or identity impersonation and fraudulent activity.
The Court of Appeal made an important decision in the case of Vidal-Hall v Google. They decided an individual can receive compensation for non-material damages without the presence of material damages. This means that you can be awarded for damages to your mental health without the need to prove that you were financially affected by the data breach.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), publishes potential compensation brackets for injuries. They separate the award amounts according to the sort of injury sustained and how severe it is. Please see the below table for possible compensation figures:
|Severe general psychological damage (a)
|£51,460 to £108,620
|Where the injured person has notable problems with life, education and work coping skills. It has effects on the person’s relationships, the success of treatments, prognosis, future vulnerabilities and whether a medical treatment has been undertaken or sought.
|Moderately severe general psychological damage (b)
|£17,900 to £51,460
|More optimistic prognosis than the severe bracket, however, the injured person will still have the same problematic factors.
|Moderate general psychological damage (c)
|£5,500 to £17,900
|An improvement in the injured person’s prognosis to a good level.
|Less severe general psychological damage (d)
|£1,440 to £5,500
|Award considers the disability period length and the extent of the effects on sleep and other daily activities.
|Severe PTSD (a)
|£56,180 to £94,470
|The injured person will have workability permanently affected and unable to function anywhere close to the pre-trauma level.
|Moderately severe PTSD (b)
|£21,730 to £56,180
|A better prognosis due to recovery undertaken with professional help, but with considerable future disability.
|Moderate PTSD (c)
|£7,680 to £21,730
|There will be a large recovery and lasting effects will not be largely disabling.
|Less severe PTSD (d)
|£3,710 to £7,680
|The injured person is nearly fully recovered within a one to two year period with only minor persisting long-term symptoms.
Contact our advisors today if you would like to know your data breach claim value.
Public interest lawyers could help in your stolen computer data breach claim as data protection and breaches can be a complex part of the law that could benefit from legal guidance. You can contact our advisors today and they will help to determine whether you have grounds for a claim and they can connect you with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.
No Win No Fee is an umbrella term for certain legal funding arrangements. Our panel of solicitors offer a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a conditional fee agreement (CFA), which has many upsides. There are no upfront fees for a CFA solicitor and they take no money if your claim proves to be unsuccessful.
You will only pay them upon the success of your data breach claim, and they will take part of your compensation as their success fee. The fee is a legally-capped, small percentage.
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