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Data snooping attacks

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Data snooping attacks can represent one of the many methods that cybercriminals use to steal private information. Snooping methods are commonly used to steal data from insecure networks and other systems. Sometimes, data snooping is even used by well-known companies seeking to extract information relating to their users.

In the digital age, personal data is a valuable commodity, such that there is a large underground network of hackers and fraudsters who aggregate data for malicious purposes. With the risks growing and growing, third-party organisations must aim to safeguard the information that is under their protection.

In fact, all UK data controllers are legally bound to comply with the rules of the GDPR, meaning that they can be held liable when a data breach occurs. If you have been affected by a data breach, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Any victims can contact us for free, no-obligation advice about their potential claims.

What are data snooping attacks?

A data snooping attack can also be labelled as an “eavesdropping” or a “sniffing” attack. These are forms of data breaches that are usually designed to steal information at times when it is being transmitted across networks. Where networks are insecure or unencrypted, it could be possible for data snooping attacks to occur that lead to significant information being exposed.

Any messages or other transmissions sent over an insecure network from a mobile device or computer could be subjected to data snooping. Unlike more direct cyberattacks, such as ransomware or phishing attacks, data snooping attacks can be hard to identify, as they can occur and go unnoticed while the systems continue to operate as normal.

Cases of data snooping

Data snooping could be a worry for those using public Wi-Fi networks, which can often be unsecured. For example, if you use a vulnerable open-access Wi-Fi network at a café, information about any searches you make or data stored on your device could potentially become accessible to cybercriminals.

A high-profile case of data snooping arose in 2017, when Google was taken to court over allegations that it had illegally reaped information from the iPhones of some 5.4 million users in the UK, allegedly by bypassing device privacy settings. It was alleged that Google had placed ad-tracking cookies on Apple phones and tablets of Safari (the Apple web browser). Safari typically blocks such cookies by default, as they can track users browsing activity, but it was alleged that Google managed to find a loophole.

Data snooping attacks or general snooping could, in theory, come both from hidden cybercriminals and potentially from supposedly reputable companies.

Claiming compensation for a data breach

No third party should be able to infringe upon your right to data privacy via data snooping attacks. Illicit surveillance of your browsing activity is unacceptable in whatever form it may come, which is why the law can enable victims to claim for breaches of data privacy.

Claiming compensation for a data breach is an action that you can be legally entitled to take if a third-party organisation has failed to protect your personal information. Whether the organisation itself has used your data inappropriately, or if they have failed to keep it protected from cyberattacks, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm caused.

Contact our expert team for free, no-obligation advice on your potential claim.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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Your privacy is extremely important to us. Information on how we handle your data is in our Privacy Policy.
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