Trade Union Data Breach – Could You Claim Compensation?

Trade Union Data Breach - Could You Claim Compensation

Trade Union Data Breach – Could You Claim Compensation

This guide will explain how to claim compensation for a trade union data breach. The UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 are both laws that protect a person’s personal data. The UK GDPR states that information about a person’s trade union membership is special category data. This type of data is personal data of a sensitive nature and therefore requires even more protection.

We will look at the impact a breach can have on individuals. We will also explain how to claim compensation. If a data protection breach exposed your data, Accident Claims UK could help you. Please get in touch with us today, and if you are eligible for compensation, we can provide you with an experienced solicitor to handle your claim.

For more information about starting your claim, please do the following:

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What Is A Trade Union Data Breach?

A personal data breach is a cyber or non-cyber breach of security at an organisation that compromises the integrity, availability or confidentiality of personal data. A trade union data breach happens when an organisation sufferers a security incident and data subjects’ trade union membership status is breached.

Under the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations that handle personal data i.e. data controllers and processors, must train their employees to protect it. Generally, an organisation with control over the means for data processing is a data controller. A data processor is a third party the controller can hire to process the data on their behalf.

Although data breaches can be caused by cyber attacks and cyber criminals, many are caused by human error. So as well as organisations investing in cyber security measures to protect data, it is vital that they have robust employee data awareness training to prevent personal data branches.

How Could An Organisation Breach Your Trade Union Membership Data?

Here are some examples of breaches of personal data which explain how a data processor or controller could breach trade union data:

  • A text message data breach where the data controller sends your personal information to the wrong person.
  • An email address data breach where a company sends personal data to the wrong email.
  • A failure to redact data.
  • A data processor or controller sends information about your trade union membership to the wrong postal address.
  • Hackers could carry out a cyber attack on an organisation to gain illegal access to a database. Therefore enabling the hackers to steal the data.

How Frequently Do Data Breaches Happen?

If an organisation suffers a data breach which puts the data subject’s rights and freedoms at risk, it must report the data protection incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The ICO publishes their data security incident trends. The chart below shows how often organisations report data security breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

When writing, data security incident trends data was only available until Q2 2022.

Who Could Have Breached Your Data Protection?

Lots of organisations process your personal data and are known as data controllers for example:

  • Your Employer
  • A GP surgery or health provider
  • Your bank
  • Online shops
  • Schools, universities, education facilities
  • Local authorities

However, not all data breach victims will have the right to pursue a claim for personal data breach compensation. The UK GDPR sets the criteria for eligibility. This will mean proving;

  • The data controller or processors failed to adhere to data protection legislation in securing your personal data accordingly.
  • This meant a data breach occurred that affected your personal data, such as your trade union membership status.
  • This caused you financial and or mental harm.

How Could A Personal Data Breach Affect You?

As we have established, the UK GDPR defines information about one’s trade union membership as special category data. This personal information is sensitive. If your trade union data was breached, the incident might have affected your personal or working relationships. In response, you could have suffered stress or mental health injuries.

Data breaches can also hurt you financially. If criminals can access your data, they can target you for identity theft. Consequently, the criminals may defraud you out of money and assets.

What Could I Claim For A Trade Union Data Breach?

If your personal data breach claim is successful after a trade union data breach, you could claim for any material and non-material damage you suffered. Material damage you could suffer would relate to any financial losses, whereas nonmaterial damage is the mental harm you have suffered.

Please refer to our compensation table for non-material damage guidelines amounts to compensation for a data breach. The table lists potential psychiatric harm you might have suffered and compensation brackets taken from 16th edition Judicial College compensation guidelines.

Harm Suffered Severity And Injury Notes Compensation Bracket
Mental Harm Severe – The condition leads to severe problems in parts of daily life such as in working, studying and in relationships. The prognosis is very poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Mental Harm Moderately Severe – The person could face issues which are similar to those above, but with a better prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
Mental Harm Moderate – The person has a much better prognosis and could well have improved by the time of the trial. £5,860 to £19,070
Mental Harm Less Severe – The bracket is based on how long it takes the person to make their recovery. £1,540 to £5,860
PTSD Severe – The injury has left the person with permanent symptoms which prevent them returning to their life at pre-trauma levels. £59,860 to £100,670
PTSD Moderately Severe – The person has a better prognosis than the one above after receiving professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
PTSD Moderate – The person may face some non-disabling symptoms, after they make a good recovery. £8,180 to £23,150
PTSD Less Severe – The person will make a close to full recovery in around 12 – 24 months. £3,950 to £8,180

If your claim succeeds, the payment you receive might vary from the brackets in the table. So, you can call Accident Claims UK, and an advisor can help estimate your award. The table does not include compensation for material damage after a data breach.

Start Your Trade Union Data Breach Claim

To make a compensation claim for a breach of your trade union data, please call Accident Claims UK. Our team can assign an experienced data breach solicitor to handle your claim if you meet the correct criteria. 

All personal data breach claims are handled on a No Win No Fee basis. Meaning there are no upfront fees needed. Instead, you pay for your solicitor’s services by paying a success fee if you receive compensation. If you lose your claim, you won’t pay a success fee. Please read our guide to see how much solicitors take and learn more about making a No Win No Fee claim.

Please contact Accident Claims UK to enquire about claiming:

  • Call our helpline on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us via our online claims form
  • Or ask our team a question using the Live Support widget

Further Data Breach Claim Resources n

The following guides might be helpful if your personal data is breached.

What Are My Rights After A School Data Breach?

HR Department Data Breach – how to claim for a human resources data breach

What Are My Rights After A Social Services Data Breach? – how to claim compensation for a data breach by social services

Data breaches: guidance for individuals and families

Does an organisation need my consent? – an ICO guide

Overview – Generalised anxiety disorder in adults

Has your pharmacy data been affected by a personal data  breach? Find out how to claim with our helpful guide.

Thank you for reading our guide to trade union data breach claims. If you have questions about making a claim for a breach of data protection, please contact us today.