In the UK, recent reports presented that there were 1,767 publicly reported data breaches in 2021. In total, these data breaches amounted to 18.8 billion personal data leaks.
As a result of data breaches becoming more prominent, we have explained everything you need to know about bringing a data breach compensation claim and how you can request for an organisation to present the data they hold on you.
If you wish to bring a data breach compensation claim against an organisation, we can help. Give us a call on 020 3795 9020.
What is a data breach?
In short, a data breach is where an organisation has lost, destroyed, accessed or disclosed someone’s information in an unauthorised way, whether by accident or deliberately. The most common reasons why a data breach arises include:
- Improper users configuration
- Physical attacks
- Application vulnerabilities
- Weak and stolen credentials
When can I claim data protection breach compensation?
In the UK, under GDPR law, if an organisation that holds your data suffers a data breach, you may be entitled to data breach compensation if some form of loss has affected you as a result.
Typically, data breaches will involve the following documents:
- Medical documents
- Financial Information
- Personal health information
- Social Services documents
- Sensitive, protected or confidential information
Please note you do not necessarily have to make a claim the court to obtain compensation. For example, the organisation may approach you and offer a settlement agreement. However, if you disagree with the value of the settlement offered, you may claim court.
What type of compensation can I claim for in court?
In short, under data protection law, you are entitled to take your case to court to:
- Claim compensation for any suffered damages caused by the organisation if they have broken data protection legislation – suffered damages can include material damage (e.g. money you have lost) or non-material damage (the distress you have suffered from the data breach).
- Enforce your rights under the relevant data protection law.
If you are looking to start a data breach compensation claim, call us today on 020 3795 9020.
Are you looking for a lawyer to help with a data breach compensation claim? If so, Just give us a quick call on 020 3795 9020.
What do I need to do before I take a data breach compensation claim to court?
Before starting a data breach compensation claim through the court, you must first reach out to the organisation and see if you can reach an agreement.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the organisation, you should inform them that you intend to take them to court. Please note that you should consider any court rules about pre-action conduct before starting any legal proceedings.
For more information on pre-action protocols, please click here.
Stage two: Settle through arbitration
An alternative to pursuing action through the small claims court is by using arbitration. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution.
Essentially, it offers a lower-cost route to resolving your data breach compensation claim without settling in the small claims court.
In arbitration, an independent third party (the “arbitrator”) will evaluate the arguments and evidence from both parties involved. Shortly after, they will make a ruling decision based on that information and award you. The award may include payment for the legal fees and damages.
For more information on arbitration, please see our article titled What Is Arbitration? | A Complete Guide To Arbitration.
Stage Three: Pursuing legal action
If you cannot reach an agreement with the organisation, you may apply to the court with an action to enforce your rights under data protection legislation. If you plan to claim compensation, you can apply to do this independently or combine it with an action to enforce your rights.
How much compensation will the court award me if my claim is successful?
The amount you will receive in compensation will be dependent on the type of data breach and how this has impacted you financially and mentally.
The sums awarded for data breach compensation claims range from:
- £900-£1,500 (low severity cases where the discrimination is a one-off incident or isolated).
- Up to £10,000 (medium severity cases where there is discrimination and harassment, widespread publication)
- Over £10,000 (high severity cases where the damages can be awarded if the intended to wrongfully disclosure information)
If you are unsure how much compensation you’re likely to receive, get in contact. We can connect you with a lawyer who can give you a compensation estimate based on the evidence and severity of your case.
Can I claim data breach compensation for unsolicited emails?
In short, you can make a data breach compensation claim under GDPR against a company sending you marketing emails that you have not signed up for or have unsubscribed.
Before attempting to make a data breach compensation claim, you can request that the organisation stops contacting you for marketing purposes. If they continue after your request, you can report them to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Can I force an organisation to present the data they are holding on me?
You have a right to ask any company or organisation about the data they are holding/or held about you. To do this, you will have to make a subject access request (SAR), and organisations will usually have to respond with the requested information within 1-3 months.
A subject access report will contain the following information:
- Where they originally acquired your information.
- What information the organisation hold
- Information on the organisation’s that also retain your data
- The timescale regarding how long they can keep your data
- Information regarding how you can change inaccurate data
- Details of security measures taken to secure your information
- Information regarding your rights if you wish to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
If the organisation fails to provide a valid reason why they couldn’t deliver the requested information within the timeframe, you can complain to the ICO.
If you’re planning on making a data breach compensation claim to the ICO, get in contact, we can help you today. Call us on 020 3795 9020.
How can we help?
If you wish to bring a data breach compensation claim, you will need a lawyer by your side. The law surrounding data protection is very complex and requires specialist attention.
The key benefit of having a lawyer who specialises in data breach matters is that they can:
- Advice on whether you have a strong case
- Provide a cost with a time estimate of the likely cost of your case
- Evaluate the evidence for and against the case
Here at LGBT Lawyers, we can connect you to a lawyer who specialises in data protection law and understands the nuances of this complex area of law whether you want to pursue legal action through small claims.