My Personal Data Was Not Locked Away Or Secured, Can I Claim Compensation For A Data Breach?

Personal data not locked away or secured data breach claim guide

Personal data not locked away or secured data breach claim guide

If your personal data was not locked away or secured this mishap can cause a data breach. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 state that businesses and organisations are responsible for protecting the personal data they collect. Failing to store physical data in a secure place, such as a filing cabinet, can cause a data breach. Likewise, a cyber security breach can happen if an organisation fails to protect digital data.

If your data was not secured, you might be eligible to claim compensation for a personal data breach. To see if you can begin your claim, please contact us today. An advisor will be happy to consult with you. And we can assign a member of our panel of skilled data protection solicitors to work on your claim.

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ICO Guidance On Data Storage And Sharing

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the public body responsible for upholding data protection laws in the UK. Such as the Data Protection Act 2018, and the UK GDPR. The principles of the UK GDPR state that organisations should only collect data that they need to process. And organisations should not store the data for longer than necessary.

Moreover, the UK GDPR explains that organisations are responsible for protecting personal data which belongs to data subjects. If your data is not locked away or secured, this can breach your data privacy.

Therefore, organisations must store the personal data they collect securely. For example, people should not be allowed unauthorised access to a room containing confidential paper documents. Similarly, companies should have an adequate cyber security system to protect from cyber security breaches. Companies should also train staff on when it is appropriate to share personal data with another party. So that employees do not disclose personal data without consent or another lawful basis .

You might be eligible to claim compensation if your personal data was not locked away or secured. To see if you are eligible to claim, please contact us today.

What Is A Personal Data Breach?

Under the UK GDPR, a data breach is a security incident at an organisation that compromises personal data protection. A data breach can happen if personal data is not locked away or secured. And exposes personal data to an insecure environment.

Data breaches can have a detrimental effect on victims. Consequently, you may endure emotional distress or psychiatric injuries after a data breach as well as financial losses.

Moreover, data breaches also threaten your security. For example, fraudsters may use your breached personal data to target you for online scams, such as phishing attacks. Consequently, you may suffer financial losses after a data breach incident.

If your data protection breach claim is successful, you can receive up to two heads of claim:

  • Material damages are compensation for financial losses that the data breach caused.
  • If you experienced emotional distress because of the data breach, you could receive non-material damages. Also, you can claim non-material damages compensation for psychiatric injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

What Is Personal Data?

The ICO defines personal data as information which identifies a person. Below are some examples of personal data that a data breach can compromise:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Bank account
  • Debit card number
  • Credit card number
  • Username or password

Statistics On Cyber Security Breaches In The UK

The UK government publishes an annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey each year. The latest survey 2021/22, offers us some invaluable insight into how many cyber security attacks happen in the UK.

  • Of the 1,243 businesses that took part, 39% of businesses had experienced a cyber attack in 12 months.
  • This figure remained the same as the year before. .
  • Furthermore, the most common threat with 83% was a phishing attack
  • Of the 39% of businesses identifying an attack, 21% identified a more sophisticated attack – denial of service, malware, or ransomware attack.

Data Breach Graph

The following graph shows the number of data security incident trends reported to the ICO from 2019/20 to 2020/21.

What Should You Do If Your Personal Data Was Not Locked Away Or Secured?

If your personal data was not locked away or secured, can you claim compensation for a data breach? You could potentially claim compensation for a data breach under the following circumstances:

  • Firstly, an organisation breached your personal data.
  • This happened because the data controller or organisation failed to correctly take the necessary steps in securing this personal information.
  • It may have happened through human error or lack of cyber security.
  • Consequently, you experienced a mental health injury or emotional distress because of the data breach. Or you may have experienced financial losses.

Please contact us today if you wish to claim compensation for a data breach. Our panel of solicitors can manage your claim to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve if you are eligible to claim.

How Much Could You Claim If Personal Data Was Not Locked Away Or Secured?

Successful personal data breach claims for emotional distress and/or financial losses can include two heads of loss. Non-material damages compensate the data breach victim for the emotional distress or psychiatric injury experienced. Below in the table, you will find various mental health illnesses with bracket compensation amounts attached to them. We have used the latest Judicial College Guidelines JCG for 2022.

Category Of InjuryCommentsCompensation Bracket
Severe PTSDThis person can not work at the same degree they did before the trauma and all parts of their life could have been impacted.£59,860 to £100,670
Moderately Severe PTSDThe claimant has a better prognosis than the person above with professional care.£23,150 to £59,860
Moderate PTSDThe injured party is largely recovered. There are not any grossly disabling symptoms.£8,180 to £23,150
Less Severe PTSDBeyond 1 -2 years the person is fully recovered and only has minor symptoms.£3,950 to £8,180
Severe Mental Health IllnessThis person has marked problems in relation to their ability to cope with all aspects of life. They have a poor prognosis.£54,830 to £115,730
Moderately Severe Mental Health IllnessThough the outlook is more optimistic, there are still significant problems with various parts of this person's life.£19,070 to £54,830
Moderate Mental Health IllnessThere has been a marked improvement by the time a claim comes to trial. The overall outlook for recovery is good.£5,860 to £19,070
Less Severe Mental Health IllnessThe damages awarded would account for how long the effects lasted and how serious they were.£1,540 to £5,860

The Judicial College created the amounts in this table. The JCG is used by legal professionals in civil claims. However, whilst solicitors use the Judicial College guidelines to help them value a claim, solicitors consider many factors such as material damages for financial losses caused because personal data was exposed. This can include; money stolen from your bank account or credit card. So the final settlement you receive may vary.

Start A Data Breach Claim

If an organisation breached your information because your personal data was not locked away or secured, you might be eligible to make a data breach claim. Please contact us today to speak to an advisor. If we can see you are eligible to claim, we can assign our panel of data protection solicitors to work on your case.

You can choose to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor. A No Win No Fee solicitor may be a more affordable option for you. You will only pay a success fee if you win your claim. So, if the case fails you do not pay the No Win No Fee solicitor for their service.

To begin your compensation claim, please get in touch with us today:

  • Call us on 0800 408 7825
  • Contact us via our website
  • Or ask us a question right now using the Live Support widget on your screen.

Learn More About Claims With Specialist Data Breach Solicitors

Please read these guides to learn more about making a data breach claim.

Can You Claim Compensation For An Email Data Breach?

Check Your Data Breach Claim Value

Check To See If Your Data Has Been Breached

How to raise your concerns about a potential data breach

Taking your data breach case to court and claiming compensation

Report internet scams and phishing attempts

Thank you for reading our guide on what to do if your personal data was not locked away or secured.