Can I claim compensation if my personal debt and financial information were shared in a personal data breach? In order to make a personal data breach compensation claim, your case must meet specific criteria. In this guide, we shall go through the criteria and what evidence you will need to prove your case.
This guide will explain how your personal data could be breached and how much compensation you could be owed. Additionally, we will discuss how you could make a claim and how our solicitors could help you in a No Win No Fee agreement.
If you still have any questions after finishing this guide, please do not hesitate to contact our advisors. Our team is here to help you with free legal advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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- Is Debt And Financial Information Personal Data?
- How Could Your Personal Debt Financial Information Be Shared?
- Examples Of Where Personal Debt Financial Information Could Have Been Shared
- How To Claim If Your Personal Information Was Shared Without A Lawful Basis
- Could You Claim If Your Personal Debt Financial Information Was Shared?
- Contact A No Win No Fee Solicitor
Data protection laws, generally, protect one type of data. Personal data is protected by the laws we will discuss in this guide. Personal data is any information that is used alone or in conjunction with other processed data to identify a living person. This can include your
- Home address.
- Email address.
- Credit/debit card details
Loan information and information surrounding your mortgage may contain your personal data therefore, loan and mortgage providers must ensure this information is kept secure according to data protection laws.
Therfore in order for financial information to be considered personal data, it must be able to identify you. Call our advisors to find out if you have a valid personal data breach claim.
What Is A Breach Of This Information?
A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the integrity, confidentiality and availability of someone’s personal data. Personal data breaches can be a result of cyber and non-cyber incidents, such as human error and cyber-attacks.
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) outlines the responsibilities and obligations for processing the personal data of UK residents. The UK GDPR works with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) to protect your personal data. These are the main data protection laws for UK residents and protect what is considered personal data.
Data controllers and processors must also comply with this legislation when handling your personal data. Data controllers decide how and why they use your data, whereas data processors act on behalf of a data controller.
To make a personal data breach claim, the breach must result from the failure of the data controller or processor. For example, the data controller failed to comply with data security laws, consequently, this led to your personal data being breached. You must also suffer harm as a result of the breach. This could be financial harm or psychological harm.
Contact our advisors today to find out if your personal data breach claim is valid.
Is this a data breach if my personal debt and financial information were shared? Data breaches can expose all types of information, from financial to medical data. However, in order to claim data breach compensation, personal data must have been breached.
Data controllers can share your personal data if they have a lawful basis to do so. There are 6 lawful bases in total, and consent is only one of them there are 5 others.
Below we look at the way personal data may be shared without a lawful basis.
- Lack of cyber security – this could allow online hackers to access databases or records with personal data stored on them.
- Administrative errors – This could occur as a result of inadequate data protection training. For example, employees may fail to redact personal information or may fail to use BCC in an email.
- Misdelivery of data – When the wrong person receives your personal data, this could be a data breach. This could be via a letter that goes to the wrong postal address or an email going to the wrong email address.
Cyber Attack and Breach Statistics
The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 is based on a random probability telephone survey of 1,243 businesses. Using the results from this survey 39% of UK businesses experienced a cyber attack over the past year. Additionally, they identified that 83% of those cyber attacks were phishing attempts. Furthermore, from the results of the survey 54% of UK businesses have acted within the past year to identify and address cyber risks, with security monitoring tools being the most common (35%.)
Our advisors can provide free legal advice and further guidance when you get in touch.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent public body responsible for ensuring data protection rights are upheld, and organisations (data controllers and processors) adhere to data protection laws. If an organisation fails to comply with data security regulations, the ICO can fine or issue penalties in response.
For example, the ICO issued a £500,000 penalty against Equifax Ltd regarding a cyber attack between 13th May and 30th July 2017. Because Equifax failed to take the appropriate organisational and technical measures to prevent unauthorised processing of personal data. Up to 15 million records of UK individuals were affected.
Contact our team today if you have proof of harm following a personal data breach.
If you have had personal data shared and no lawful basis has been established, this could very well constitute a personal data breach. Following data protection law, if an organisation were to experience a data breach that threatens your rights or freedoms, they must inform you as soon as possible. They must also inform the ICO within 72 hours.
If you intend to make a personal data breach claim, there are some steps you can take to strengthen your case. Firstly, the ICO recommends directly contacting the organisation responsible for the data breach. If you receive a dissatisfactory or no response, you can report the breach to the ICO.
The ICO cannot provide compensation. However, they may investigate the breach and could impose a fine on the organisation.
Lastly, to make a claim, you must suffer financial damage or mental distress as a result of the breach. You have up to six years to make a personal data breach claim or one year if it’s against a public body.
To make a personal data breach claim, you must prove;
- The data controller or processor failed to take the appropriate steps to keep your personal data safe.
- Personal data, including special category data, was involved in the breach, and
- You suffered mentally and/or financially as a result of the data breach.
Any financial losses you’ve suffered due to the data breach fall under material damage. You may be able to claim these losses back if your claim succeeds.
Any psychological injuries you endure due to the data breach fall under non-material damage. Previously, claiming non-material damage was impossible if you were not claiming for material damage simultaneously. However, the Court of Appeal ruled in Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc. (2015) that material damage is no longer necessary when claiming for non-material damage.
Below is a guideline compensation figure table that represents potential non-material damage. These figures align with the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
|Non-material damages (Injury)||Severity/Notes||Amount|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Severe: No function at the pre-trauma level. All aspects of life will be affected.||£59,860 - £100,670|
|PTSD||Moderately Severe: There will be a better prognosis with the potential of some recovery with professional help. But, the person will still likely have a significant disability for a while.||£23,150 - £59,860|
|PTSD||Moderate: The person will have recovered largely. Continuing symptoms won’t be majorly disabling.||£8,180 - £23,150|
|PTSD||Less Severe: The person will virtually experience a full recovery between 1-2 years. Only minor symptoms will continue after this period.||£3,950 - £8,180|
|Psychiatric Harm||Severe: The person will have serious problems coping with life/education/work and will experience extreme future vulnerability.||£54,830 - £115,730|
|Psychiatric Harm||Moderately Severe: The person will experience problems with being able to cope with life/education/work and will experience future vulnerability. However, the diagnoses will be much more optimistic.||£19,070 - £54,830|
|Psychiatric Harm||Moderate: Whilst the person will suffer with the ability to cope with life/education/work and will experience future vulnerability, there will have been marked improvements by trial.||£5,860 - £19,070|
|Psychiatric Harm||Less Severe: Will consider the damage period and the extent to which sleep and daily activities were affected.||£1,540 - £5,860|
These figures are not estimates or guarantees, only guidelines. For a free estimate of what your claim could be worth, contact our team today.
Our data breach solicitors can help you with your claim through a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Many claimants opt for this arrangement because of its benefits, such as:
- If your case is successful, you will only pay your solicitor a small success fee out of your compensation.
- However, if your case isn’t successful, you do not pay the success fee.
Get in touch with our expert team to find out how one of our solicitors could help you. They can provide free legal advice and further guidance surrounding your claim.
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Related Data Breach Claims Guides
For more helpful articles we recommend:
- Frequently asked questions for data breach.
- What are my rights after a solicitors data breach?
- What are my rights after a post office data breach?
Or, to learn more:
- ICO: Taking your case to court and claiming compensation.
- NHS: PTSD.
- National Cyber Security Centre: Data breaches: guidance for individuals and families.
Contact our advisors for more information if your personal debt and financial information was shared without a lawful basis.