In this guide, we will examine when you could be eligible to claim compensation for a prison staff data breach. If you are an employee working at a prison, it is likely that your employer will need to handle your personal data. Prisons also hold lots of personal and personally sensitive information about prisoners.
Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), data controllers and processors must take measures to protect the personal data they handle. Generally, a data controller will have control over the purpose and the manner in which personal data is processed. A processor may be hired to act on behalf of the controller.
These two pieces of legislation sit alongside one another to supervise the use and storage of personal data. Therefore, if you have suffered harm due to a personal data breach caused by a controller or processor, you may be wondering what your next step is.
Accident Claims UK may be able to help you claim compensation for a prison staff data breach. Please call us today to talk to an advisor about your case. They are available to provide free and confidential advice 24/7.
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Select A Section
- What Is A Prison Staff Data Breach Compensation Claim?
- What Prison Staff Data Could Your Employer Breach?
- Examples Of Prison Staff Data Breaches
- What Evidence Could You Provide To Prove A Prison Staff Data Breach?
- Calculating Compensation For A Prison Staff Data Breach
- Get Help Making A Prison Staff Data Breach Claim
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a UK body responsible for upholding information rights. They describe a personal data breach as a breach of security resulting in the unlawful or accidental alteration, loss, destruction, or unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This is inclusive of breaches that are caused by either accidental or deliberate causes.
Data controllers and processors have the responsibility of adhering to data protection laws to prevent a data breach as far as possible. Controllers are often an organisation, as they exercise overall control over the means and purposes of processing personal data. Whereas processors act upon the instructions of the controller.
An employer data breach can put prison employees at risk. For example, the home addresses of employees may be accidentally shared online. Therefore criminals could target the staff members.
Also, on the flip side, if prison staff were to breach prisoner data, this could also put them at risk. Consequently, the data breach victims may suffer from emotional distress. After a personal data breach, the victims could develop psychological injuries such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Furthermore, a data breach could also lead to financial losses. For instance, if the victim has suffered from psychological injuries, they may be temporarily unable to work and experience a loss of earnings.
Contact our advisors to learn more.
A prison staff data breach could compromise your personal data. The ICO defines personal data as information that can be used to identify an individual. Examples of personal data protected under the UK GDPR include the following:
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Phone number
- Debit card
- Credit card
Employer data breaches could also expose special category data. Special category data is a type of personal data which is considered sensitive in nature and requires extra protection. Examples of special category data include:
- Personal data regarding the subject’s racial or ethnic origin
- Personal data regarding the subject’s religious or philosophical beliefs
- Information regarding health, such as medical information
You could be eligible to receive compensation for the harm caused by a personal data breach if the data controller or processor failed to comply with data protection laws, which caused the breach.
Personal data could be recorded and stored either physically or digitally for both prison staff and prisoners. Both forms are protected by the UK GDPR. However, there are various ways in which a prison staff data breach could occur, including:
- An email is sent to the wrong recipient containing personal information.
- A letter is sent to the incorrect address containing personal data.
- Loss or theft of a device containing personal data.
- Criminals cyber hack an online database and gain access to personal information.
- A phishing scam.
- Failure to redact information.
Justice Sector Data Security Incidents Statistics
The ICO compiles statistics on data security incident trends, which show that in the justice sector, there were:
- 530 data security incidents between Q2 of 2019 and Q2 of 2022.
- 511 of these incidents occurred due to non-cyber causes.
- And only 19 occurred due to cyber causes.
To make a successful prison staff data breach compensation claim, you could be asked to provide evidence to support your case. This may include:
- Evidence that the relevant data controller or processor violated data protection laws. For example, they may have not been using a security system up to the correct standard, which allowed a cyber hack to occur. This could be findings from the ICO or correspondence between yourself and the organisation responsible for your information.
- You may require medical records detailing your experience with mental health injuries because of the data breach.
- And if you wish to claim compensation for financial losses, you will need to provide supporting proof, such as your bank statement or payslips.
Not all of those who suffer harm because their personal data has been breached will be entitled to make a claim for a data breach. Under Article 82 of the UK GDPR, your case must meet the following criteria:
- A data controller or processor is liable for a breach as they failed to adhere to data protection laws,
- This caused your personal data to be breached, and
- As a consequence, you suffered financial and/or mental harm.
A successful claim for a prison staff data breach can include up to two potential heads of claim: material and non-material damage.
- Under material damage, you could be compensated for monetary losses resulting from the personal data breach.
- Under non-material damage, you could be compensated for the psychological injuries you experienced as a result of the incident.
The table below uses the 16th edition Judicial College guidelines (JCG), updated in April 2022, to provide compensation brackets for different injuries under non-material damage. Solicitors use this information to help them value data breach compensation claims. Please consider these figures as a guide.
|Injury and Severity
|Severe Psychological Injury (a)
|The person with severe psychological injuries will have marked problems in multiple areas of their life, such as work, education and their relationships. They will have a very poor prognosis.
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Moderately Severe Psychological Injury (b)
|The person with moderately severe psychological injuries will have similar problems associated with their daily life. However, there will be a much more optimistic prognosis than in the severe bracket above.
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Moderate Psychological Injury (c)
|The person with moderate psychological injuries will have made a marked improvement by trial and their prognosis will be good.
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Less Severe Psychological Injury (d)
|How much you could be awarded for injuries in this bracket will be determined by how long the effects lasted and how seriously the person’s daily life was affected.
|£1,540 to £5,860
|Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a)
|The person will be prevented from functioning as they did before the trauma. They will suffer permanent effects and all aspects of their life will be badly impacted.
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (b)
|The effects are likely to cause the person significant disability for the foreseeable future. However, there will be a better prognosis for some recovery with professional help.
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (c)
|The person will have largely recovered. If there are any continuing effects, these should not be grossly disabling.
|£8,180 to £23,150
|Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (d)
|This person should have made a virtually full recovery. This would happen within 1 – 2 years.
|£3,950 to £8,180
Please call our advisors to discuss the compensation you could be eligible to receive for your claim.
If a prison staff data breach caused by a violation of data protection laws compromised your personal data and caused you harm, please get in touch with our team. If our advisors assess your claim and determine that it could be valid, they may place you in contact with one of our No Win No Fee data breach compensation claim solicitors.
Entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with a solicitor, which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement, could prove to provide many benefits to you. Firstly, a solicitor can provide help in navigating the claims process.
Moreover, the No Win No Fee agreement generally means you will not have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for a solicitor’s services. Additionally, you won’t pay for these services should your claim be unsuccessful.
Alternatively, if your claim is a success, a solicitor will generally receive a small ‘success fee’ from the compensation. This is a legally capped percentage.
Please get in touch with Accident Claims UK today to see if you are eligible to claim for a prison staff data breach.
To speak to our team:
Data Breach Claim Guides
You may find these guides from our site useful to learn more:
External links for extra reading:
Claiming compensation – an ICO guide to claiming data breach compensation
Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 – a survey explaining how much of a threat cyber security breaches are to businesses and charities
How cyber attacks work – this guide includes information on cyber attacks.
Thank you for reading our guide to making a prison staff data breach claim.