An Unauthorised Person Has Had Access To My Personal Data – How Do I Claim Compensation?

This guide will explore the question ‘an unauthorised person had access to my personal data, can I claim compensation?’. It will outline the circumstances in which you could claim for a breach of your personal data and the steps you could take after this type of incident. 

unauthorised person had access to my personal data

An Unauthorised Person Has Had Access To My Personal Data – How Do I Claim Compensation?

In addition, we will discuss the responsibilities certain parties have to protect your personal data and the laws that put this in place.

Furthermore, we explore how a personal data breach could affect you and the compensation you could be awarded to address this if you make a successful claim.

Also, we explore what resources the data protection solicitors from our panel may use to determine compensation as well as the other services they could offer on a No Win No Fee basis. 

To speak about your potential claim, you can contact our advisory team using one of the methods below:

  • Reach us on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us by informing us of the details of your claim using our form
  • Use our chat window to start a discussion

Select A Section

  1. How Do I Claim If An Unauthorised Person Had Access To My Personal Data?
  2. Examples Of Personal Data Breaches
  3. How Do You Prove A Data Breach Impacted You?
  4. What Could You Do If Someone Has Accessed Your Personal Data?
  5. Estimating Payouts If An Unauthorised Person Has Had Access To My Personal Data
  6. Talk To Our Team If There Has Been Unauthorised Access To Your Personal Data

How Do I Claim If An Unauthorised Person Had Access To My Personal Data?

The UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 are in place to outline the responsibilities data controllers and data processors have to protect the personal data of data subjects. A controller makes choices regarding the collection of your personal information, and processors tend to work under the instruction of the controller when handling this data.

Additionally, the Information Commissioner’s Office enforces data protection laws and upholds the rights and freedoms of data subjects. 

A failure to adhere to these laws can lead to a personal data breach. This can be defined as a security incident that affects the integrity, availability and confidentiality of your personal details.

In order to be eligible to make a data breach claim, you should be able to meet the requirements set out by in Article 82 of the UK GDPR: 

  • A controller or processor fails to comply with data protection laws. 
  • This wrongful conduct leads to a breach involving your personal data.
  • You experience emotional distress or monetary damage as a result of your personal data being compromised in a breach.

If your circumstances meet the criteria above, you could be eligible to claim for data breach compensation.  

Data Breach Claim Limitation Periods

As a general rule, you have six years to start a data breach claim. However, when claiming against a public body, you will typically have one year.

To discuss the time limits in more detail and understand when you could be eligible to seek compensation, get in touch on the number above.

Examples Of Personal Data Breaches

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify you, this can include your name, email address, postal address and your credit and debit card details. Additionally, there is a separate category of personal data that requires extra protection. This is known as special category data and can include information relating to your health and racial or ethnic origin.

There are many ways a breach of your personal data could occur. Firstly, human error could lead to the following:

  • An email containing your personal information is sent to the wrong email address, despite a company having the correct one on file.
  • A letter containing sensitive information is sent to the wrong postal address, even though you provided the company with an updated address.

Secondly, a cyber security incident could lead to your personal data becoming compromised. This can involve the organisation failing to put adequate security systems in place resulting in a ransomware attack occurring.

If you wish to know more about your options after a personal data breach under the UK GDPR, please contact us. 

How Do You Prove A Data Breach Impacted You?

You could be emotionally or financially impacted by the compromise of your personal data. For example, you may experience distress due to a data breach if sensitive information is accessed by an unathorised party. Evidence will help to illustrate this harm, such as copies of medical records.

Additionally, you could experience monetary losses if your credit card or debit card details are stolen in a cyber attack. These losses can be demonstrated by credit reports and bank statements. 

To learn more about proving the harm you suffered, please speak with our advisory team. 

What Could You Do If Someone Has Accessed Your Personal Data?

There are different ways you can deal with a data protection breachFirstly, you could make a complaint to the company that you find to be responsible for the unauthorised access to your personal details. 

In doing so, you could request further information on what data was accessed and how it has been affected. This also allows you to ask how they plan to rectify the damage. 

If you find the response of the responsible company to be inadequate, you can escalate this complaint and request the ICO to perform a further investigation into the data breach. 

Copies of letters, emails, or any evidence of correspondence with the relevant company or the ICO can help to support your case.

Estimating Payouts If An Unauthorised Person Has Had Access To My Personal Data

You may ask yourself, ‘what compensation could I receive if an unauthorised person had access to my personal data?’.

You could receive compensation for two kinds of harm. Firstly, compensation could be awarded for non-material damage, which refers to any emotional harm you were caused by the breach. For instance, you may claim for anxiety due to a data breach

When solicitors are determining the award you should receive for such, they may look to the compensation brackets contained within the Judicial College Guidelines. Some of these figures have been included in the table, however, there is no guarantee that you will receive these amounts.

Harm Level of Severity Notes Guideline Compensation
Psychiatric Damage Severe (a) There are clear issues in coping with areas of life such as employment, education, and relationships. This is accompanied by a prognosis that is very poor. £54,830 – £115,730
Moderately Severe (b) Problems of a significant nature maintaining relationships, friendships, and coping with work but the prognosis is much better. £19,070 – £54,830
Moderate (c) Persisting issues with coping with the areas of life mentioned in the above categories, though the improvement is notable and supported by a good prognosis. £5,860 – £19,070
Less Severe (d) The impact on day-to-day life and the length for which the disability continues will be considered when valuing the payout. £1,540 – £5,860
Anxiety Disorder Severe (a) There is a permanent and negative impact on all areas of the person’s life. This prevents a return to the level the person was at before the trauma. £59,860 – £100,670
Moderately Severe (b) There are significant problems for the foreseeable future but the prognosis is likely to be better after the help of professionals. £23,150 – £59,860
Moderate (c) A recovery has occurred and continuing issues don’t have a gross impact. £8,180 – £23,150
Less Severe (d) Within 1-2 years a full recovery has almost been made. Lasting symptoms are minor. £3,950 – £8,180

What Is Material Damage?

If you suffer financial losses after a breach of your personal details, this is referred to as material damage. For example, if someone accesses your bank information without authorisation, this could lead to identity theft and people making illegal purchases in your name. Compensation could be awarded for losses such as these.

If you would like a more personalised estimate of what you could receive following a successful claim, get in touch using the number above.

Talk To Our Team If There Has Been Unauthorised Access To Your Personal Data

If you are considering working with a solicitor from our panel, this could benefit you in many ways. Their familiarity with data breach claims mean they can help you through the different stages of the claims process. 

A solicitor could propose a No Win No Fee agreement. A popular kind of this contract, and one that may be put forward to you, is a Conditional Fee Agreement. 

Under this type of agreement, if your claim is unsuccessful, you will typically be under no obligation to pay for the services that your solicitor has provided. 

If your claim is a success, then this agreement legally permits your solicitor to deduct a percentage from your compensation. This is known as a success fee and is restricted by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. 

How To Get In Touch

You can reach our advisors for more information using one of the contact methods below. Our team are available 24/7 to answer your queries: 

  • Call us on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us by completing our claims form
  • Use our discussion window to begin a chat about your claim

Further Reading On Data Breach Claims

More of our guides are below: 

External resources that may be helpful: 

We hope this guide has helped answer your question ‘an unauthorised person had access to my personal data, can I claim?’. If you have any other questions, please get in touch using the details provided above.

Article by MA

Publisher EI