My Data Was Sent To The Wrong Postal Address – Can I Claim?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 10th August 2023. Have you had personal data sent to the wrong postal address? Are you wondering if you could make a claim for compensation? While the internet is making the form of communication easier, many still use letters. Companies and organisations use letters to promote products and services and to send bills and invoices to clients.

But what would happen if personal information had been sent to the incorrect address? Would that cause a data breach?

My Data Was Sent To The Wrong Postal Address, Can I Claim Compensation?

My Data Was Sent To The Wrong Postal Address, Can I Claim Compensation?

This guide, we will look at how a data breach can affect you psychologically and financially, along with what compensation could be awarded in successful personal data breach claims. We will also look at how you can check if a data breach has impacted you and if you could be eligible to claim compensation.

If you believe that you have had information involved in a data breach caused by a letter sent to the wrong postal address, we can help.

Contact us:

  • Phone: 0800 073 8801
  • Website: Fill out our online contact form
  • Live chat: Message us today

Pick A Category 

  1. Wrong Postal Address Data Breach Claim
  2. What Is A Wrong Recipient Data Breach?
  3. What Could Cause A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach?
  4. When Can You Claim For A Wrong Address Data Breach?
  5. Examples Of Compensation For A Data Breach
  6. Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help With Wrong Postal Address Data Breach Claims?

Wrong Postal Address Data Breach Claim

The UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR, and the Data Protection Act 2018 are both pieces of legislation designed to protect your personal data when an organisation processes it. Very often an organisation that will say how and why they want to process your data will be known as a data controller. Under these data protection laws, data controllers must take the necessary steps in keeping your personal information safe.

The UK GDPR has a set of principles that organisations must follow to ensure that the data they have collected is being processed within the law. These principles are: 

  • Keep data accurate 
  • Limitation of storage 
  • Transparency, lawfulness and fairness
  • Accountability
  • Limitation of purpose
  • Minimisation of data
  • Confidentiality and integrity

If companies neglect to follow these principles, it can lead to information being breached. Should personal data have its integrity, confidentiality or availability compromised then this is what is known as a personal data breach. 

Data controllers, organisations that control data, would have to inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within a 72-hour period if a breach happened that affected the rights of a data subject. In turn, the ICO may decide to investigate the breach. The ICO has the power to issue fines to organisations found to be in breach of data security laws. 

What Is A Wrong Recipient Data Breach?

Generally, data breaches can happen for one of two reasons: non-cyber incidents and cyber-attacks. Non-cyber incidents, those caused by human error are usually the main cause of data breaches. According to reports made to the ICO by different organisations and sectors during the fourth fiscal quarter, there have been a total of 217 incidents involving data posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient across all sectors.

For example, if employees haven’t had the proper training in data security or cyber security, it can lead to a relaxed attitude when dealing with sending information i.e. the addresses aren’t checked properly. Therefore, it could lead to multiple pieces of personal data being sent to the incorrect place.

If you believe that a wrong address data breach has impacted you, you may wonder about how to make a claim. Data breach claims have a time limit. There are two forms of data breach time limits. You must begin your claim within 6 years. However, if a public body has been involved, it is reduced to just one year. 

If you need any further information, contact us today.

What Could Cause A Wrong Postal Address Data Breach?

Human error is seen as one of the most noticeable causes of data breaches. The human factor considers the mistakes and the unintentional actions, even lack of action by employees and employers that operate data controller organisations.

How could your data be sent to the wrong recipient?

  • An employee forgets to check that the right address is on the envelope
  • You update your address but the admin staff failed to update their records
  • The correct address was used but the wrong name was put on the envelope so a different member of your family accessed your personal details.
  • The right address was used but the details in the letter belonged to someone else.

When Can You Claim For A Wrong Address Data Breach?

If your personal data was sent to the wrong postal address, you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria to be able to make a personal data breach claim:

  • The breach must have compromised your personal data.
  • The breach must have been caused by the organisation’s failings.
  • Due to your personal data being breached, you must have suffered psychological harm or financial losses.

As previously stated, all organisations that process your personal data must adhere to data protection laws. If they fail to do so and this results in your personal data being breached, you may have grounds to pursue compensation. However, you must have also suffered mental or financial harm due to your personal data being breached.

If you are unsure whether you may have a valid personal data breach claim, you can contact our team of advisors. They may also be able to put you in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors who could assist you with your case.

Examples Of Compensation For A Data Breach

When looking at calculating compensation, we have provided the table below. It is important that you are aware that compensation takes two forms; material and non-material damages. The table below only looks at non-material damages.

The compensation awarded in successful personal data breach claims for non-material damages will take into consideration the severity of your injuries, the effect they have had on your life and how long you’ve had the injury.

Financial loss is one of the two ways that a data breach can impact you. This is known as material damage. 

On the other hand, for psychological injuries – conditions such as anxiety, stress and PTSD –  the compensation is known as non-material damages. In order to aid in the understanding of the effects of a data breach, you may have a medical assessment. This assessment can be used as an additional form of evidence, strengthening your case. 

Psychological Injuries Compensation brackets Description
PTSD: Severe £59,860 – £100,670 There are disabling effects which are permanent.
PTSD: Moderately Severe £23,150 – £59,860 The effects are still causing a disability for the immediate future but professional help can mean the prognosis is better.
PTSD: Moderate £8,180 – £23,150 Largely recovered but their are still effects that aren’t disabling.
PTSD: Less Severe £3,950 – £8,180 A full recovery has been achieved.
Psychological Harm: Severe £54,830 – £115,730 A poor prognosis, and a large impact on daily function
Psychological Harm: Moderately Severe £19,070 – £54,830 There are permanent and significant aspects in all areas of life, yet, the prognosis is better than in the above category.
Psychological Harm: Moderate £5,860 – £19,070 An improvement has been made but affects may linger
Psychological Harm: Less Severe £1,540 – £5,860 To what extent are sleep and daily activities affected will contribute towards how much compensation is awarded.

Used for personal injury, medical negligence, road traffic accidents and fatal accident claims as well as data breach claims, the Judicial College guidelines is a publication that covers all forms of injuries. The figures presented in the table are from the 16th edition of the JCG published in 2022. 

Additionally, for more information on the types of damages and if you could be eligible for compensation, get in touch with us today. 

Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help With Wrong Postal Address Data Breach Claims?

If you have a strong case a No Win No Fee solicitor may undertake the work of your case using a Conditional Fee Agreement as a payment structure. Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) are a form of fee arrangement. 

  • No upfront solicitors fees
  • If the case wins a success fee is taken from your compensation at a capped rate.
  • If the claim fails no success fee is needed.

If you are still unsure about how the claims process works, we can help you. Our advisors can provide you with further information about your case, offering free advice and guidance. They can also carry out a free assessment of your claim to determine whether it is valid.

Contact us

  • Phone: 0800 073 8801
  • Website: Fill out our online claim form 
  • Live chat: Message us today

Wrong Postal Address Data Breach Claim Resources

If you have had information sent to the wrong address, it can be a stressful situation, especially when that information contains sensitive and personal data. To support you further with your claim, we’ve added a few more guides that could be of use to you. We recommend reading through them. 

Additionally, we have some external links for you to have a read-through. 

Therefore, if you have data sent to the wrong postal address and want to know if you are able to make a claim for compensation. Our advisors are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.