I Suffered A Psychological Injury After A Personal Data Breach, What Are My Rights?
In this article, we’ll review data protection laws and reveal what harm can result from a loan provider data breach. Moreover, we will show you when compensation might be payable for the harm that results from a breach and how much may be paid.
Taking out a loan can be stressful enough without thinking about how secure the sensitive information you’re providing is. When you begin the application process, you will no doubt notice that you’re asked to read information about how your personal data will be used. The reason that’s begun to happen is the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). After it became enacted in law, it gave individuals (the data subject) more control over how their data is used.
If you would like to see if you could start a claim, you can call our advisors, who’re available 24/7. A specialist will review your case with you and explain your legal options. You won’t be obliged to claim but if you’d like to, we could put you in touch with a data breach solicitor from our team. Should they agree that your case is suitable, you’d benefit from our No Win No Fee service.
To check if you are eligible to make a financial data breach claim, why not call an advisor today? They are available on 0800 073 8801. When you get in touch, we’ll review your options and answer any questions that you might have. If you would like to learn more about data breach claims before contacting us, please carry on reading.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Loan Provider Data Breach Claims
- Examples Of Personal Data A Loan Provider Could Hold About You
- What Is A Financial Data Breach Claim Against A Loan Provider?
- What Should A Loan Provider Do If They Have Had A Data Breach?
- Example Of A Data Breach Affecting A Loan Provider
- What Are Your GDPR Rights?
- What Evidence Could Support A Loan Provider Data Breach Claim?
- Loan Provider Data Breach Compensation Calculator
- Material And Non-Material Damages Under The GDPR
- Can I Claim For A Loan Provider Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Contact An Advisor
- FAQs On GDPR Data Breach Compensation Claims
- Related Guides
A Guide To Loan Provider Data Breach Claims
Loan providers use a lot of personal information when processing applications and to help them manage accounts. It is therefore important to implement measures to try and secure that information. Any leakage of such sensitive information could cause serious problems for loan applicants or account holders. Luckily, the GDPR was enacted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018 and raises the importance of personal data security.
Following the launch of this legislation, data controllers (such as loan companies) need a lawful basis to process information about you. Usually, this will involve informing you when your data will be needed and asking you to consent to its use. You can find out about the other lawful reasons for processing data here.
Should a loan provider fail to meet their data protection obligations, they might expect a visit from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK regulator for several privacy and data laws. If they find that an organisation has broken the rules, they have powers that allow them to issue a fine and enforcement orders.
However, their role doesn’t include compensating you for any suffering that results from a GDPR data breach. Therefore, we’ve written this article about taking action to claim for suffering caused by a loan provider data breach.
Importantly, claims must be made within the relevant time limit. For many, that is a 6-year period. However, your limitation period will be 1 year for human rights breaches. Please use our live chat if you’d like to check the time limit for your case.
Examples Of Personal Data A Loan Provider Could Hold About You
During the loan application process, you will have to provide quite a bit of information about yourself. This is an important part of the decision making process. To be compliant with financial services rules, some or all of that information may need to be retained. So what data could a loan provider hold about you? It could have information such as:
- Your name
- Bank account details
- Email address
- Home or mobile numbers
- Previous addresses
- Information from your credit file
- Website usernames and passwords
- Loan application form
- Transaction history
- Defaulted payment information
- Employment details
As a lot of this data could help to identify you, it is protected by the GDPR. You can imagine what harm would be caused if it were to be exposed in a data leak. For example, it could cause distress or anxiety because your financial situation became public. Furthermore, it could be used in identity theft crimes by criminals.
In addition to trying to keep your data from getting into the wrong hands, loan providers are not allowed to share it without a lawful basis either. That means it can’t be sold to marketing companies or other organisations without your prior consent. If it is, you may have the right to seek compensation.
What Is A Financial Data Breach Claim Against A Loan Provider?
Let’s now define what a personal data breach actually is. In most cases, they result from some sort of security problem. The incident will mean that personal data will be disclosed, lost, destroyed, altered or accessed in a way that you’ve not agreed to or is not lawful. Importantly, data breaches can result from deliberate, accidental and illegal acts. If a loan provider causes a data breach, you could seek compensation if you suffer as a result.
A lot of financial services are provided online these days. Therefore, there is the potential for cybercriminals to cause a breach by using firewall exploits, ransomware, phishing emails and other hacking tools.
However, the GDPR does also cover physical documentation. For example, if a loan broker threw a printed copy of your application away with normal rubbish (rather than shredding it securely) and it includes your personal details, a breach will have happened if the form ends up in the public domain.
Here are some more examples of how a loan provider could cause a personal data breach:
- By sending your loan statement to the wrong address where the unauthorised recipient accesses it.
- If a loan provider’s website is not secure so it is hacked and unencrypted data about you is exposed.
- Where inadequate security checks mean somebody else is given information about your loan over the phone.
What Should A Loan Provider Do If They Have Had A Data Breach?
Many companies appoint a data protection officer to help them protect themselves against a GDPR data breach, but also to help if one occurs. When a potential breach is identified, companies should:
- Start an internal investigation to learn what has happened.
- Get in touch with the ICO to let them know about the breach (if it is notifiable).
- Tell any data subject about the breach if their rights and freedoms could be at risk.
If your data is breached, you should be told without undue delay. This communication could form part of your evidence if you do go on to start a claim. Importantly, though, data breaches alone do not entitle you to receive any compensation. To be eligible to begin a claim, you will also need evidence that the breach led to some form of suffering.
Example Of A Data Breach Affecting A Loan Provider
In this section, we are going to look at a personal data breach that affected one loan company. The breach was said to have affected some 245,000 customers of the now-defunct Wonga.
As a result of the breach, Wonga had a support line so that affected customers could contact them. The stolen data included names, phone numbers, bank account details and home addresses. Additionally, the last 4-digits of bank cards may have also been compromised.
An ICO spokeswoman confirmed that where they find companies have not kept customer data safe, they have the power to investigate and could take enforcement action.
What Are Your GDPR Rights?
Data subjects have 8 rights according to the GDPR. They are:
- The right to be informed – being told about why and when your data is to be used.
- A right of access – you can access and have a copy of your data.
- The right to rectification – so that you can get errors to be corrected.
- A right to erasure – where you can have your information destroyed.
- The right to restriction – you can ensure your data isn’t used in certain ways.
- The right to data portability – so that copies of your data are supplied in formats that are easy to use and reuse.
- A right to object – where you can prevent the use of your personal data.
- Profiling and automated decision-making rights.
While you do have all of the rights listed, they are more complex than we have shown. Please refer to the ICO site for full details.
What Evidence Could Support A Loan Provider Data Breach Claim?
All compensation claims require evidence to support them. You need to show what happened, who was to blame and how you have suffered. For data breach claims, the evidence you could use includes:
- The email or letter from a data controller warning that your data has been compromised. Alternatively, a report following an ICO investigation could help. Either of these could be used to show that the data breach happened.
- Medical records to show what suffering has resulted from the data breach. This could include anxiety, depression or distress. Additionally, a report following a medical assessment should be required as part of the claims process, which we’ll explain in the next section.
- Bank statements, financial reports and other documents that prove how much money you have lost.
If you call our advisors, a specialist will review your claim with you. They will look at whether you have sufficient evidence and advise if anything else is required. If your claim appears to be suitable, it could be passed to one of our data breach solicitors. If they take on your claim, it will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis.
Loan Provider Data Breach Compensation Calculator
It is now time to review potential compensation figures that could be paid for suffering relating to data breaches. In this section, we are discussing psychological injuries rather than financial suffering. Although we have supplied example amounts, you’ll get a more accurate estimate if you call our advisors for a free case review.
Let’s begin by looking at an important hearing at the Court of Appeal. In the case, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc , the judge found that:
- It is acceptable to claim compensation for injuries resulting from a data breach, regardless of whether the breach caused financial loss or not.
- Compensation awards could be made using guidelines used in personal injury cases.
As a result, our compensation table is populated with data from the Judicial College Guidelines. This document helps legal professionals to value compensation payments for injuries.
|Suffering resulting from psychiatric damage||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Suffering resulting from psychiatric damage||Moderately Severe||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Suffering resulting from psychiatric damage||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Suffering resulting from psychiatric damage||Less Severe||Up to £5,500|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderately Severe||£21,730 to £56,180|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderate||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Less Severe||Up to £7,680|
One important factor used to determine settlement figures is the severity of any injuries. Therefore, if you claim, we recommend that you have a medical assessment. Our team of data breach solicitors are usually able to arrange a local appointment.
During your meeting, an independent medical specialist will try to understand how you have suffered. They may do this by asking relevant questions and referring to any available medical records. Once they have finished, they will prepare a report and send it to your solicitor. It will explain your injuries and also offer a prognosis too.
Material And Non-Material Damages Under The GDPR
As part of a personal data breach claim, you could seek:
- Material damages. This compensation aims to reimburse any costs, financial losses and expenses caused by the data breach.
- Non-material damages. An award that could cover any pain or suffering resulting from psychiatric damage.
Importantly, claims must cover both current suffering and any future problems too. That’s because you can’t request extra compensation after your case has been settled. Therefore, as well as claiming for any diagnosed conditions like anxiety or distress, you may need to look at future suffering too.
To try and achieve the best level of compensation, our advice is to take on legal support. If you work with a data breach solicitor from our team, they will assess your claim fully to make sure they know exactly how you have suffered. They will then use this information, along with supporting evidence when submitting your claim.
Can I Claim For A Loan Provider Data Breach With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
Claimants often worry about the cost of taking on legal support. We fully understand that and it’s the reason that our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service. If your case is taken on, you would benefit from experienced legal representation but you may not have to pay their fee if your case is lost.
Our solicitors can’t offer this service in all cases though. Therefore, the first thing they will do is check the viability of your claim. If they agree to take it on, you will be supplied with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This shows you what your solicitor must achieve if they are to receive their fee. Also, it will demonstrate that:
- Your solicitor won’t ask to be paid their fee in advance.
- No solicitor’s fees will need to be paid while your case progresses.
- If there is an unsuccessful outcome, you won’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees at all.
If a positive outcome is achieved, and you are paid compensation, your solicitor will retain a percentage to cover the cost of their work. This percentage is called a success fee and it’s listed in your CFA. Importantly, to stop overcharging, success fees are legally capped.
Contact An Advisor
Thank you for reading about how to claim for a loan data breach. If you have decided that it’s time to begin a claim, why not get in touch? To reach out to us, you can:
- Call our advisors to discuss your claim with a specialist on 0800 073 8801.
- Let us know about your claim in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask an online advisor about how to proceed using our live chat service.
- Use our claim online form and we’ll arrange a callback.
You can contact us about your claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An advisor will discuss your claim with you. We provide free legal advice and will always be frank about your chances of receiving compensation. If your case is suitable, we could refer you to one of our No Win No Fee data breach lawyers.
FAQs On GDPR Data Breach Compensation Claims
In this part of our guide, we have added answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have any further queries, please let us know.
What is the most common cause of a data breach?
In the latest statistics released by the ICO (quarter ending March 31st 2021), the most common type of reported data breach was emails being sent to the wrong person. For cybersecurity incidents, the most common cause was breaches that happened because of phishing emails.
What is an example of a data breach?
One example of a GDPR data breach is where a data controller’s online system’s vulnerability is exploited by a hacker and, as a result, your data is accessed.
Can you sue a company for a data breach?
If a company is responsible for a personal data breach, it could be sued if the incident caused you to suffer. Usually, the claim will be against the company (or data controller) rather than an individual responsible for the breach.
What are my rights if my data has been breached?
If your personal information has been leaked during a data breach and you’ve suffered in some way, you have the right to seek compensation. This could cover financial suffering or psychological injuries.
This is the last section of our guide on financial data breaches. Therefore, we have added some additional guides which may help you. If you would like any more information from us, please contact our team.
Data Breach Guidance: Find out more about data breaches with this guidance from the Government.
Who Are The ICO?: A brief overview of the Information Commissioner’s Office and how they work.
Anxiety And Depression Test: This NHS tool assesses how you’ve been feeling recently.
Finally, you will find a few more of our guides for information below:
Comparison Site Data Breach: Details of how to register a claim against a comparison site because your data was breached and, consequentially, you suffered.
University Data Breach: Advice on making a claim if you’ve suffered because of a university data breach.
Data Breach FAQs: Commonly asked data breach questions answered by us.
Thank you for reading our guide to loan data breach claims.
Guide by BH
Edited by RV