If your personal data has been involved in a veterinary surgery data breach, you may be wondering if you could make a personal data breach claim. According to figures released, 52% of UK adults own a pet, and many pet owners will need access to a vet. As a result of this, it is likely that a lot of your personal data is processed by the surgery in order to be able to offer you and your pet the correct service.
UK residents have their personal data protected by different pieces of data protection legislation, such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act DPA (2018). All personal data processed by a data controller or processor must be kept secure. A data controller would likely be the vet company, as they will have control of the means and purpose of processing your data. It could outsource the data processing to a third-party company known as a processor.
If your personal data is breached, it could lead to financial loss and/or psychological injury. However, not all those who suffer because their personal data is breached will be eligible to make a data breach claim.
Throughout this guide, we are going to explore the personal data breach claim process and look at who could have a valid claim. We will also explain how compensation is calculated in personal data breach claims and how one of our expert solicitors could help you make your claim. Contact our team today by:
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- What Is A Veterinary Surgery Data Breach?
- What Data Do Veterinary Surgeries Deal With?
- Does The UK GDPR Apply To Vets?
- Protecting Customer Information
- Veterinary Surgery Data Breach Compensation Calculator
- Get In Touch To Learn More About Veterinary Surgery Data Breach Claims
A personal data breach can mean a security incident has affected and compromised the availability, confidentiality, or integrity of your personal data.
A data breach can happen through human error or the deliberate actions of a third party. They can happen through personal data being lost, stolen, altered, destroyed, or accessed without authority or through verbal disclosure accidentally or unlawfully. Protected by data protection legislation is personal data such as your name, address or email address. Personal data that relates to a person’s ethnic origin, religious beliefs, health data, trade union membership, political affiliation or sexual orientation is given added protection because of its sensitive nature.
A personal data breach claim is possible when the following criteria can be met:
- The data controller or processor failed to protect personal data according to data protection legislation.
- This led to a data breach that involved your personal data, and
- The data breach resulted in you suffering financial and /or mental distress.
If those responsible for your personal data did all they could to comply with the regulations of the UK GDPR and the DPA, they generally would not be liable should a breach occur.
The UK GDPR and the DPA protect identifiable data. Meaning that information processed that could be used to identify you is protected. When you take your pet to the vet to be treated, they will need to collect and process your personal data so that they can provide the correct service. Some of the personal information they may ask for includes:
- Full postal address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Credit card numbers
- Bank sort code and account numbers
- Direct debit information
To find out if you could make a claim after suffering harm due to a veterinary surgery data breach, call our advisors today for free legal advice. They are waiting to take your call.
The GDPR was first introduced as an EU Directive. As the UK was still a member of the European Union at this time, these regulations were adopted into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018. However, since the UK has not departed from the EU, we have created a UK version of the GDPR known as the UK GDPR and updated the DPA to reflect this.
Organisations that deal with UK residents’ personal data must follow the regulations of the UK GDPR. Failure to comply can mean an organisation is liable for the harm that is suffered should a data breach occur involving a data subject’s personal data.
To find out if you are eligible to make a veterinary surgery data breach claim, call our advisor any time of the data or night.
In order for data controllers and processors to effectively process the personal data that they handle, they must comply with the principles set out in the UK GDPR. There are 7 in total. These include:
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency.
- Purpose limitation.
- Data minimisation.
- Storage limitation.
- Integrity and confidentiality (security)
The data controller must also have a lawful basis in order to legally process a data subject’s personal data. There are 6 lawful bases in total these include:
- Legitimate Interests
- Vital Interest
- Public Task
- Legal Obligation
To prevent a veterinary surgery data breach from occurring, apart from satisfying the points above, it is vital that employers train any staff that data handle in the importance of data security awareness. Having up-to-date cyber security systems in place to protect online digital files against cyber attacks and hackers is of the utmost importance. Also, any devices should be password protected in case they are lost or stolen, and physical files should be locked away and secured from authorised access.
Should your veterinary surgery data breach claim end successfully, you could be awarded:
Firstly material damage compensation is awarded when you have suffered a monetary loss, such as:
- Money stolen from your bank account
- Fraudulent purchases made with your debit card
- Credit score affected
Secondly, non-material damage compensation can be awarded for: sleepless nights, PTSD, anxiety, stress, emotional distress and depression.
The table has used compensation brackets taken from the guidelines published by the Judicial College. These guidelines are very often used by legal professionals such as data breach solicitors when attaching a value to illnesses and injuries. These compensation amounts are guidelines only.
|Mental Health Condition
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Permanent and lasting effects on all areas of life with no return to a pre-trauma state.
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Very similar issues to the above category, however opportunity for recovery with professional help.
|£8,180 to £23,150
|A large recovery with no continuing symptoms that are grossly disabling.
|£3,950 to £8,180
|A virtually full recovery within one to two years.
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Marked issues dealing with work, education, and everyday life.
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Serious issues dealing with work, education, and everyday life. However a much more optimistic prognosis.
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Marked improvement of existing symptoms by the time of trial.
|£1,540 to £5,860
|Consideration given to length of disability and remaining effects, such as disturbance of sleep.
The figures you can see are taken from the guidelines of the Judicial College, updated in April 2022.
Our advisors are waiting to take your call now. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your convenience. Through a free consultation, they can answer your queries and provide a free assessment of your case. Should they conclude that your case has strong grounds for compensation they can offer to connect you to a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel.
To reach our advisors: online form.
If you’d prefer to speak to someone directly, ring us on 0800 073 8801.
Data Breach Resources
Below, you can find some more links and resources:
We have also provided some external resources you may find helpful:
What Is Personal Data – An ICO Guide
Data Protection Rights – A Gov.UK Guide
Mental Health Conditions – NHS Guide
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide about veterinary surgery data breach claims.
Guide by AC
Edited by MM.