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Data breaches affecting children can cause significant distress and worry, both for the minor and for their parents.
In a similar way that an adult can, a child can also bring a claim for compensation and they will normally do this via a parent or guardian. The GDPR can still entitle them to pursue a case, and we can still represent a child on a No Win, No Fee basis for a legal claim.
To speak to our team for a free, no-obligation chat about pursuing a claim on behalf of a minor, please do not hesitate to contact us here now.
Data breaches affecting children can have a significant impact on those who have been affected, particularly when they are concentrating on their studies and dealing with the general pressures of growing up. We all have a right to confidentiality and control over who knows what about us, and this right that is enshrined in accordance with the GDPR extends to minors as well.
If a child’s information has been exposed or misused, they can be entitled to claim privacy compensation in the same way that an adult can in many cases. The GDPR can entitle a victim to claim compensation for any distress that has been caused by the loss of control of a person’s information, so we can look at the distress that the child has suffered and base their claim on that. It can be a little bit different because it is not always easy to fully assess distress for a child, particularly for those who are very young. As such, we will need to work closely with the parents/guardians who will usually act as what we call a “litigation friend” on behalf of the child to allow them to bring their claim safely.
In the same way as we can for adult claims, we may be able to represent a child via the litigation friend on a No Win, No Fee basis.
If you need to speak to us as a parent or guardian about pursuing a claim on behalf of a minor, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team for free, no-obligation legal advice here now.
A recent example of data breaches affecting children is the Cornwall Council issue where they had to apologise for having accidentally published confidential information about school children online. It is understood that the issue occurred when details, such as names, addresses and dates of birth, were accidentally included on online documents that had been published.
The context of the breach is important, as it is understood to have related to parents making appeals in relation to school transport. It is also understood that, in one of the cases, there were also personal contact details for the actual pupil, and some information in relation to special educational needs included.
Cornwall Council has since apologised for the error and confirmed that it would engage in full investigations, including with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if necessary.
As can be seen from the example above, the importance of the GDPR and local authorities complying with legislation is significant. In many data breach settings, it can take just one error for very personal and sensitive information to be accidentally disclosed or published, and great care is often required when it comes to vulnerable individuals. This can include children, particularly those with particular needs or sensitive domestic situations.
Given the extensive information that local authorities are charged with storing and processing, compliance with the GDPR must be seen as one of the most important duties. Any data breaches affecting children are matters that must be thoroughly investigated, and victims can be entitled to claim compensation as outlined above.
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