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Data Breach and Privacy Claims

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May 2018 saw the introduction of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018. This gave individuals more control over personal data and what data can be held by organisations.

What is a breach?

A data breach is when personal data is lost, destroyed, accessed or disclosed in an unauthorized way whether that's by accident or deliberately by someone inside or outside the organisation.
Breaches can happen as a result of inadequate business practice, human error or cybercrime. All of which means that our personal and sensitive date is not as safe as it should be.

What is the impact?

Sadly breaches are common, and the consequences can be significant.
A data breach can result in both financial loss and/or identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cybercriminals can steal your identity, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.
Many victims also suffer from stress, anxiety and distress.

Can you get compensation for breach of data protection?

If you believe your personal data has been lost or misused and you have suffered loss or distress, you may be able to claim for compensation.
However, data breach cases are not straightforward and it is recommended that you use a solicitor who specialises in this area of law.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK's data protection regulator can investigate the incident. They have the power to impose a fine, but the ICO does not award compensation to the victim. To be awarded compensation you will need to make a civil claim against the organisation who breached your data.

How much you will get in compensation?

The level of damages will depend on the type of data breached and how this has affected you both financially and mentally.
We can discuss the nature and extent of your individual case and give advice on the likely value of your claim, before you decide whether you want to go ahead with a claim.

Next steps.

If your data or privacy rights have been infringed you can bring a claim, either individually or as part of a group action.

Each case is different and Ashfords' specialist lawyers can give you advice on the best option for you based on your individual situation.

We can also take steps to minimise the impact of the breach.

Please take a look at our FAQ section below as well as our articles on the subject.

If you think you have been adversely affected by a data breach you can contact our specialist team headed by Elizabeth Johnson also call our Claims Hotline on 01392 334010.

Data breach - enquiry form

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a data breach?

    A data breach is when personal data is lost, destroyed, accessed or disclosed in an unauthorized way whether that's by accident or deliberately by someone inside or outside the organisation.
    Breaches can happen as a result of inadequate business practice, human error or cybercrime.

  • What is the impact?

    Sadly breaches are common, and the consequences can be significant.

    A data breach can result in both financial and/or identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cybercriminals can steal your identity, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.
    Many victims also suffer from stress, anxiety and distress.

  • Can you get compensation for breach of data?

    If you believe your personal data has been lost or misused and you have suffered loss or distress, you may be able to claim for compensation.

    However, data breach cases are not straightforward and it is recommended that you use a solicitor who specialises in this area of law.
    The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK's data protection regulator can investigate the incident. They have the power to impose a fine, but the ICO does not award compensation.

    To be awarded compensation you will need to make a civil claim against the organisation who breached your data.

  • Can I claim for financial losses after a breach of data?

    A data breach can lead to both financial and/or identity theft. And the result of either of these can be devastating. With enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.

    Breaches can also lead to other financial losses which will vary based on the individual circumstances of your case. Speak to us on a no obligation basis to see whether your losses can be included in a claim.

  • What is Distress and anxiety in the context of a breach of data claim?

    You do not have to have experienced harm as a direct result of a data breach. If a company does not protect your data in the way it is legally obliged to do, and you have suffered a loss of privacy, you can make a GDPR breach compensation claim.

    You do not need a medical diagnosis in order to bring a claim.

  • How much you will get in compensation for a data breach?

    The level of damages will depend on the type of data breach. For example was the information particularly sensitive and how did this affected you, both financially and mentally.

    For these types of claim, there is no defined sum that you will be entitled to. The sum will be calculated by the circumstances of the data breach, and the degree of distress you have suffered.

    Each case is different and Ashfords' specialist lawyers can give you advice on the best option for you based on your individual situation. We can also give advice on the likely value of your claim.

    Even if you haven’t lost out financially after a data breach, this doesn’t mean that there is no harm done. Being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically.

    If you have also suffered a loss of your privacy this can increase the level of compensation you are entitled to.

  • How do I make a claim?

    Please contact our team by email or telephone, or complete our online questionnaire to register your interest with us

    We will speak to you on a no obligation basis and then advise whether you have a valid claim and answer any questions you might have.

    We will then advise on the best option for you.

  • What are the time limits?

    The limitation period for making a data protection claim is currently six years. This means that all breaches of data going back six years are now potentially subject to a claim.

  • What will this cost?

    There is no fee (and no obligation to go ahead with a claim) for our initial conversation.

    If we are satisfied that there is a valid claim then we can act on a ‘no win - no fee’ basis.

    We do not charge a success fee. Some firms will take a percentage of your damages but we take nothing. Your costs will be paid by your opponent.

  • Do I have to go to court?

    Most cases settle without the need for court proceeding.

    The first step is to send a letter of claim to your opponent, if they admit the breach then we will gather evidence to support the financial losses and stress suffered, before negotiating settlement of your claim.

    If settlement cannot be agreed at an acceptable level then court proceeding may need to be issued. But we can lead you through the process step by step and deal with all the technical issues.

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