What Are My Rights After An Optician Data Breach?

When you sign up for services these days, you’ll often notice that you’ll be asked to tick a box or read a statement about how your personal data is going to be used. That’s because of the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR). The rules have been put in place to try and give you (the data subject) better control over how your data is used. It also means security measures should be used to secure it. In this guide, we are going to explain when you could claim for an optician data breach. You’ll find information on the types of breaches that can happen, what harm they can lead to and when you might be compensated for your suffering.

I Suffered Because Of An Optician Data Breach, What Are My Rights?

What are my rights after an optician data breach guide

What are my rights after an optician data breach guide

Accident Claims UK is able to help you if you are considering beginning a claim for an optician data breach. We have a team of friendly advisors who’ll review your claim for free. They will also explain your legal options to you as well. While you don’t have to claim through us, if your case is strong enough, we could partner you with a data breach solicitor from our team. Importantly, they could help you claim on a No Win No Fee basis if your claim is accepted.

If you would like to find out if you could begin a claim today, please call us on 0800 073 8801. During your free telephone consultation, we’ll answer as many queries as possible. If you’d like to know more about your data protection rights before calling, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Optician Data Breach Claims

Personal data is highly sought after these days. That’s because it can be used by criminals to make money. That could involve holding you to ransom because they hold sensitive information that you don’t want to be released into the public domain or it could be used in an identity theft crime. However, data breaches aren’t always caused by criminals, they can also happen due to human error. Fortunately, The Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR encourage companies to strengthen their data security practices.

To help reduce how much personal information is used, organisations (data controllers) must have a lawful basis to process information about individuals (data subjects). That can mean that you need to grant permission before your data is processed.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are able to conduct thorough investigations if civil breaches, contraventions and criminal offences occur. If any wrongdoing is found, they have the ability to make a company change how they handle data. Furthermore, they are able to issue financial penalties too. However, they won’t be able to compensate you even if the data breach caused you to suffer. For that reason, you will need to make your own data breach claim.

Importantly, we need to point out that a 6-year time limit applies to most data breach claims. However, it might be worth a quick chat with our team to confirm that’s the case for you. That’s because some claims are limited to a single year when they are based on human rights breaches.

When you have completed this article, please get in touch if you have any outstanding questions. Our team will try to help as much as possible and will review your options with you. Our advice is always free even if you don’t decide to claim.

What Types Of Data Could An Optician Hold About Me?

Many organisations that provide services need to retain personal information about clients, customers or patients. Without it, they might struggle to operate properly. However, do you know what information your optician might have? Well, it could include:

  • Your medical records.
  • Sensitive or confidential information.
  • Your full name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Home address.
  • Contact numbers.
  • An email address.
  • Your credit card details.

There may be further details that have been processed by your optician that we haven’t listed here. Importantly, this type of information could be used by criminals if it were exposed during a personal data breach. It could also cause you to suffer emotionally.

As well as protecting this type of data, an optician can’t share it with other organisations unless there is a lawful basis. That might mean they need to ask your permission before sharing it.

If you believe an optician has been involved in a data breach or shared your data without your permission, please call our specialists for free legal advice.

What Is A Clinical Data Breach Claim Against An Optician?

The definition of a personal data breach, found within the GDPR documentation, is where a security incident results in personal data being lost, altered, destroyed, disclosed or accessed in an unauthorised way.

Importantly, this doesn’t just involve cybercriminals employing tactics such as brute force attacks, phishing emails or ransomware. The GDPR also covers physical documents stored in filing cabinets too. Moreover, data breaches aren’t only caused by deliberate or illegal acts, they can also result from simple procedural mistakes too.

Examples of how an optician could be involved in a GDPR breach include:

  • When a letter or email including your personal information is sent to the wrong customer.
  • Where staff share your personal records without a valid reason.
  • If a computer screen is left unlocked and a member of the public can view your personal details.

If you suspect that you have suffered following a data protection breach by an optician, please contact one of our specialists today.

Steps An Optician Should Take If They Have Had A Data Breach

If an optician realises that a GDPR data breach has happened, there are certain steps they need to take. To comply with the GDPR, and depending on the circumstances, they may need to:

  1. Start an internal investigation to find out what has happened. They should try to understand how the breach occurred, what data was involved and when it took place.
  2. Let the ICO know about the breach.
  3. Inform all data subjects who may be put at risk about the data protection breach.

As we’ll explain later on, any letter or email you receive telling you that your data has been exposed by a breach could be used as evidence to confirm that it happened. However, data breaches don’t always entitle you to claim compensation. Instead, you must be able to supply evidence to show that you have suffered. As a result of an optician data breach, you could claim for financial losses or psychological injuries.

Examples Of Action Taken By The ICO Against An Optician

In this section, we are going to look at an optician data breach involving Vision Direct. According to their website, some customers’ personal and financial details were compromised on the company’s website.

The report went on to say that the breach related to customers who were making changes or ordering from the site. After investigating further, the company confirmed that normal access had been restored.

They also said that the breach was being investigated with ‘the authorities’. At the time of writing, the breach is not listed on the ICO breach register.

Source: https://www.visiondirect.co.uk/customer-data-theft

ICO Data Breach Statistics

Should you wish to find data breach statistics, the ICO website is a good place to look. They produce statistics relating to data breach incidents reported by data controllers on a quarterly basis. For example, in the second quarter of 2021/22, the ICO revealed that 435 incidents were reported to them in the healthcare sector.

Below, you can see a graphic that shows how common data breach incidents were in this. In other sectors. You could compare this with how many there are in the healthcare sector.

optician data breach statistics graph

One statistic that might be quite surprising to some readers is that many of the healthcare data breach reports come from non cyber related incidents. Of the 435 incidents reported in healthcare in the period we mentioned above, only 33 were cyber related. When we look to the overview of statistics produced by the ICO, we can see that the top cause of data security incident reports related to emails being sent to the wrong person. We do not know the specific causes, but it could be that autofill has been used in some cases. Or, perhaps someone has made a typing error when filling in the recipient’s address. Both of these errors could cause an email to go to the wrong recipient.

What Are The 8 Data Subject Rights Under The GDPR?

In accordance with the GDPR, all data subjects have certain rights. They are:

  1. A right to be informed.
  2. The right of access.
  3. A right to rectification.
  4. The right to erasure.
  5. A right to restrict processing.
  6. The right to data portability.
  7. A right to object.
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

For more information on how these rights affect you, please visit the ICO’s website.

What Evidence Do I Need To Provide To Make An Optician Data Breach Claim?

When you make any type of compensation claim, you need evidence to a) substantiate your claim and b) explain why the compensation amount is correct. If you decide to continue with an optician data breach claim, evidence that could help you includes:

  • An admission that the data breach took place. It is a requirement for the optician to let you know that you could be at risk when investigating the breach.
  • A report from the Information Commissioner’s Office to show that the breach took place and how it happened.
  • A medical report that shows the diagnosed psychological injuries that were caused by the breach.
  • Bank statements, receipts and other documents that prove what money you have lost as a result of the breach.

If you would like us to check if you have enough evidence to proceed, please call today. We’ll review the evidence you have along with the merits of your case for free.

Optician Data Breach Compensation Calculator

In this section of our guide, we are going to look at how much compensation could be payable following a GDPR data breach. We will concentrate on psychological suffering here but we’ll look at other forms of compensation in the following section. The types of psychiatric damage we’ve listed in our compensation table, below, relate to anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and distress.

There are two cases we could look to that set important legal precedents relating to data breach compensation. The first is Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] – Court of Appeal. Within this case, the judge held that those who have not lost money from personal data breaches could still claim for psychological injuries or psychiatric harm.

The second is from Gulati & Ors v MGN Ltd [2015]. Here, the judge held that the compensation awarded to victims of a data breach for psychological injuries could be paid in accordance with amounts from personal injury law.

To demonstrate what amounts could be awarded, our table contains information listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG helps legal professionals value injury amounts during personal injury claims.

Claim Type Severity Settlement Bracket Additional Details
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £56,180 to £94,470
Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180
Moderate £7,680 to £21,730
Less Severe Up to £7,680
Psychiatric Damage Generally Settlement amounts are based on the following factors:
1) How the victim is able to cope work or life in general.
2) Adverse effects on relationships.
3) If treatment will help the victim or not.
4) Future vulnerability.
5) Prognosis.
Severe £51,460 to £108,620
Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460
Moderate £5,500 to £17,900
Less Severe £1,440 to £5,500

As you may have noticed, the severity of your injuries is considered when settling claims. Therefore, as part of your claim, you will need to attend a medical assessment. Our solicitors try to minimise the amount of travel required by arranging local assessments.

Your appointment will be overseen by an independent medical specialist. They will aim to work out how you’ve suffered and will offer a future prognosis following your assessment. They will do this by asking questions and reviewing your medical records.

Following the appointment, the specialist will send a report containing their findings to your solicitor.

What Different Types Of Damages Could You Claim For An Optician Data Breach?

Generally, when you make a personal data breach claim, it could be separated into two main elements. In the first, material damages, you’ll concentrate on any costs, expenses or financial losses that result from the breach. Importantly, you will need to think about future losses as well as any money that’s already been lost. That might be the case if your personal details are being used in identity theft crimes. If that is the case, you could lose more money until all of your accounts are blocked or switched.

In the next part of your claim, non-material damages, you will begin to look at psychological injuries caused by the breach. Initially, you’ll look at the anxiety, data breach distress or depression that has previously been diagnosed. Then you will need to check the prognosis offered following your medical assessment. If it suggests that you will continue to suffer for some months or years in the future, then that suffering could also be included in your claim.

We believe that due to the difficulty in ensuring everything is covered by your claim, your best chance of success is to take on legal representation. If you work with a data breach lawyer from our team, they’ll use all of their knowledge and experience to try to fully understand how you’ve suffered. That will then mean they can prepare a full and proper claim on your behalf.

Our team is here to answer your questions when you’re ready to begin. If you would like us to review your chances of claiming for free, please call the number above.

No Win No Fee Personal Data Breach Claims Against An Optician

Some people may be put off making a claim because they worry about losing the money they pay out in solicitor’s fees. However, if you choose to work with us, you needn’t worry so much. That’s because we have a team of experienced solicitors who offer a No Win No Fee service.

At the beginning of the claims process, your case would be reviewed by the solicitor. If they do decide to act for you, you would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a document that will explain under what circumstances you will have to pay your solicitor. The CFA also shows you that:

  • You don’t have to pay your solicitor’s fee upfront.
  • Your solicitor will not charge you for their work while still working on your case.
  • You don’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees if the case does not succeed.

The only scenario where you’ll pay your solicitor is if you are compensated. If that happens, the solicitor’s work will be paid for by a success fee. This is a percentage of your compensation that’s deducted before you are paid. Success fees are legally capped and yours will be clearly listed in the CFA so you will understand how much you’ll pay before you agree to work with the solicitor.

An advisor will be able to check if you have a case that’s suitable for our No Win No Fee service, so please call today.

Contact An Advisor About An Optician Data Breach

As we have almost reached the end of this article, it is time to let you know how to contact us. If you’ve decided to proceed with a claim and would like Accident Claims UK to help, you can:

  • Call our free advice centre on 0800 073 8801 to start the claims process.
  • Ask an online advisor to explain your options in our live chat service.
  • Request a call from one of our specialists by using this form.
  • Send us an email to explain the effects of the data breach to office@accidentclaims.co.uk.

Throughout your call, we will be honest and open about the chances of winning your case. After your free case review, we could connect you with one of our data breach solicitors. If they agree to process your claim, they’ll provide their service on a No Win No Fee basis.

FAQs And Common Questions About Data Breaches

As we have nearly completed this guide on optician data breach claims, we have supplied answers to some commonly asked questions below. Should you need any further queries answering, please call our team.

Can I get compensation for an Optician data breach?

You could be entitled to claim compensation following a personal data breach but only if it has caused you to suffer. For example, claims are sometimes possible if you’ve lost money or been made ill because of the breach.

Can an individual be held responsible for a data breach?

Usually, the responsibility for a personal data breach will lie with the data controller. If it is found that the actions of a single person led to the breach occurring, they may face internal disciplinary action.

What happens if personal data is leaked?

If an organisation is made aware of a data breach, they are obliged to investigate. At the same time, they will need to let the Information Commissioner’s Office know what has happened. If the breach poses a risk to any data subjects, they need to be told about the incident.

Do I need to report a data breach to the ICO?

Following a data breach, if you’re the victim, you do not have to involve the ICO. However, the report that follows an ICO investigation could help if you decide to seek compensation. If you are going down the claims process, it may be worth asking your solicitor for advice.

Related Data Breach Claims

You have arrived at the final section of our guide about how data breach lawyers can help with optician data breach claims. Therefore, to provide additional support, we have linked to some additional resources that will hopefully help during your claim. If you need any further advice, please feel free to contact us.

The Freedom Of Information Act: The FOI is another piece of legislation that the ICO is the watchdog for.

The General Optical Council: The UK regulator oversees opticians and optical technicians to ensure they provide services to a high standard.

Anxiety Self-Help: An article by the NHS in Scotland that provides advice on how to deal with anxiety.

Finally, we have added a few more of our articles below to show how else we might be able to help you.

Optician Negligence Claims: Information on the claims process if you’re injured at an optician’s.

Compensation for Eye Injury: Advice on claiming if you’ve suffered an eye injury that wasn’t your fault.

Eye Injury Compensation Claims: A look at the various types of eye injuries and claims.

We hope this guide to making an optician data breach has been helpful.