My Confidential Information Was Sent To The Wrong Email Address UK – Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 25th October. Was your confidential information sent to the wrong email address? Did an organisation send an email that contained your personal data to the wrong person? If you have suffered harm due to a personal data breach, you may be able to claim.

In this article, we will discuss how a personal data breach can occur and what constitutes as personal data. We will also explore the legislation in place to protect your personal data if you are a UK resident.

Wrong email address data breach compensation claims guide

Wrong email address data breach compensation claims guide

Read on to learn more about making a personal data breach claim. Or, get in touch with our advisors. They can provide free legal advice and further help:

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  1. My Confidential Information Was Sent To Wrong Email Address – Could I Claim?
  2. What Steps Could I Take If My Confidential Information Was Sent To The Wrong Email Address?
  3. How Could Confidential Information Be Sent To The Wrong Email Address?
  4. How Much Could I Claim If My Confidential Information Was Sent To Wrong Email Address In The UK?
  5. Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help Me?

My Confidential Information Was Sent To Wrong Email Address – Could I Claim?

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) works with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) protect the personal data of UK residents. An independent body called the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has the power to enforce these laws and investigate any organisation that fails to apply this data protection policy.

You cannot claim for any breach of confidential information; in order to make a claim, the breach must affect your personal data. Personal data and personal information is any information that could identify you, like your postal address, your phone number, or your name. A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of your personal data.

What Is The Criteria For Claiming?

The UK GDPR sets out the criteria that personal data breach claims must meet in order to be valid. These criteria include:

  • The breach involves your personal data
  • This leads you to suffer harm
  • The breach is a result of wrongful conduct by the data processor or data controller

A data controller decides how and why they intend to use your personal data, whereas a data processor processes this information on the controller’s behalf. Sometimes, one organisation can play both roles.

Our team of advisors can tell you if your personal data breach claim is valid when you get in touch. Alternatively, keep reading to find out what you can do if your confidential information is sent to the wrong email address.

What Steps Could I Take If My Confidential Information Was Sent To The Wrong Email Address?

If a breach occurs that could affect your freedoms or your rights, there are certain steps the organisation responsible must take. These include notifying the ICO of the breach within 72 hours and notifying you without undue delay.

You can make a complaint to the organisation, and they may respond with more information. For example, they may be able to tell you how the breach occurred or what information was involved.

If they do not respond, or if the response they provide is not satisfactory, you can take your complaint to the ICO. You must do this within three months of your last meaningful contact with the organisation.

While the ICO does not handle claims, nor are they able to provide compensation, they can investigate potential data breaches. The ICO can also levy fines against organisations that do not comply with data protection law.

To find out if you could claim after your information was sent to the wrong email address, contact our team today.

How Could Confidential Information Be Sent To The Wrong Email Address?

There are various ways in which confidential information could be sent to the wrong email address in the UK. Below we look at example scenarios that could lead to data breach compensation

  • Incorrect records: Organisations are expected to keep up-to-date records. If you have informed an organisation that your email address has changed or that their records are incorrect, and they fail to update their records, this could lead to your confidential information being sent to the wrong email address.
  • Spelling errors: This is an example of human error. If an employee misspells your email address and fails to double-check that what they have written is correct, this could lead to a personal data breach.
  • Reply all: Another example of human error is misusing certain email functions. For example, the reply all function may result in your confidential information being sent to multiple recipients instead of just you. Similarly, misusing the CC function could allow multiple recipients to access your information.

If you’re wondering whether a breach of confidential information could lead to data breach compensation in your case, one of our advisors could check your case for you.

How Much Could I Claim If My Confidential Information Was Sent To Wrong Email Address In The UK?

There are two potential types of compensation that you could receive if your claim is a success. These are material damage and non-material damage.

Non-material damage provides compensation for the psychological effects you endure due to the breach. For example, a breach may cause mental health injuries, such as distress, anxiety, and depression.

Below, you can find a table that provides guideline compensation brackets for non-material damage. These figures are from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document that helps solicitors value claims. It does so by providing a guide for legal professionals to follow in terms of compensation.

Please note that these amounts are not guaranteed; they are only guidelines.

Edit
Description of Psychological/Psychiatric Injury JC Guideline Award Bracket and Severity Notes
Psychological Harm £54,830 to £115,730 – (a) Severe Degree Serious and permanent symptoms affect all areas of daily life.
Psychological Harm £19,070 to £54,830 – (b) Moderately Severe Levels

Significant injuries similar to above but with a better prognosis.
Psychological Harm £5,860 to £19,070 – (c) Moderate Levels Improvements are seen by the time the case may need to go to trial.
Psychological Harm £1,540 to £5,860 – (d) Less Severe Level

Reflective of the length of injury and the effect symptoms have on daily life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £59,860 to £100,670 – (a) Severe Cases

An acute and permanent traumatic injury that negatively impacts all areas of the person’s life, with no remaining ability to work or function as they might have pre-trauma.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £23,150 to £59,860 – (b) Moderately Severe Cases Significant disability is caused in all areas of life but with a more positive prognosis after professional help.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £8,180 to £23,150 – (c) Moderate Cases Overall a good recovery with any remaining issues not being grossly disabling.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £3,950 to £8,180 – (d) Less Severe

Cases where a virtually full recovery has taken place with 12 – 24 months and any symptoms beyond this being minor.

Material damage aims to provide compensation for the financial impacts of the breach. For example, if a bank data breach affects your credit card details, this could lead to criminals making fraudulent purchases and accruing financial debt in your name. Under material damage, you may be able to claim this money back.

Contact our team of advisors to learn more about claiming compensation if your confidential information was sent to the wrong email address.

Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help Me?

You may be wondering if you can hire legal representation to assist you with your claim. Under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), our No Win No Fee solicitors could help guide you through the personal data breach claims process.

Generally, a CFA means that you don’t pay an upfront fee, nor do you pay ongoing costs to your solicitor. The only fee your solicitor will be paid is a success fee if your claim succeeds. However, unsuccessful claimants will not pay this fee.

With this in mind, why not get in touch with our advisors to learn more by:

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To learn more about claiming for confidential information that is sent to the wrong address, contact our advisors.

Guide by JJ

Edited by CH