You may not know this but you are entitled to claim for data breach compensation if you are the victim of a data breach. You can claim data breach compensation from organisations leaking your information (like a public service or your employer); from organisations sharing your information without consent; or even from hacks, as examples.
In the digital age we live in, where organisations hold an astounding wealth of information about us, we’re all at risk of our right to privacy being breached, and at risk of scams and frauds.
So what can you claim for in terms of data breach compensation, and on what basis do you claim?
Misuse of your information
In terms of the law – mainly the Data Protection Act – organisations holding information about you, known as Data Controllers, must securely manage your data and ensure they do not share your data with anyone else without your consent. Even your name should not be shared without your consent unless there is a good reason to do so.
You provide your information to organisations for a reason – such as telling your doctor about a medical problem, or perhaps informing your employer about family troubles. This information you freely give to organisations cannot just be shared with anyone unless there is a sound reason to do so.
A doctor may confer with a colleague about a medical condition, but they shouldn’t be telling your friends and family about it! Equally an employer, when taking the example of family trouble above, should not be telling all your colleagues about what’s going on. Managers or HR personnel may need to know for a very good reason, but it can’t just be shared with everyone!
This is the basic principle of how it works. So, if your information is shared with other people or with other organisations without good reason and / or without your consent, this may understandably cause you distress, which could have a huge impact on you socially and financially. This can then entitle you to data breach compensation.
The law says that Data Controllers must ensure the data they hold for you is secure. If it is leaked because someone accidentally makes it available online, or perhaps sends information about you to the wrong person, you may be entitled to claim for data breach compensation as well. Leaks tend to be accidental, but whether the leak is intended or not is usually irrelevant; if the data has been leaked, you can have a right of action.
Taking the same principle above about Data Controllers and their responsibility to ensure your data is secure, if they are hacked because they haven’t secured your data properly, you can still claim for data breach compensation. Organisations must effectively employ security measures to protect your data or they leave themselves at risk of a hack which in turn leads you to become the victim.
There should never be an excuse for poor data security!
What do I claim for?
You can be eligible to claim for data breach compensation for the mere fact it has happened, but it is also usually down to the distress that is caused to you. There are sometimes trends between the nature of the information breached, and how much distress is caused, but it can ultimately come down to the individual.
In terms of claiming an injury for data breach compensation, a part of it is essentially a personal injury, but it can be very different to a personal injury claim. Data breach compensation law can be very complex and it is always advisable to seek advice and representation from expert data breach compensation lawyers like ourselves.
Need help or advice?
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IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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