Data leaks can cause an absolute chasm of problems and, in reality, an unlimited amount of damage.
Personal information that’s been exposed can be used to create all sorts of damage and it may never end. The psychological effect can be hugely traumatic and distressing, so this type of damage can be very difficult to recover from. Monetary losses can be calculated in pounds and pence, but putting a figure on the cost of personal damage isn’t an easy science.
It can be done, though; and here are some of the highest recorded payouts.
For celebrities whose lives are already in the spotlight and under constant scrutiny, a data leak could be one of the worst things to ever happen to them. In the past few years, many celebrities have found themselves victims of huge data breaches, mainly from hacking.
News of The World phone hacking scandal
Back in 2012, News of the World were in trouble over a huge phone hacking scandal. Following their illegal and intrusive behaviour, the 168-year-old newspaper eventually shut down, and for the damage the hacking caused, three victims were awarded a total of £1 million.
Overall, it’s estimated that another 4,000 individuals may have been potential victims.
In the search of the most lucrative and exclusive ‘shock content’, politicians, actors, celebrities, witnesses and people close to victims of the London bombings in 2007 were reportedly targeted.
Here are some of the well-known victims and their pay-outs:
- Charlotte Church, singer: £600,000
- Jude Law, actor: £130,000
- Sienna Miller, actress: £100,000
- Sadie Frost, designer: £50,000
- Guy Pelly, friend of Prince Harry: £40,000
The newspaper lost a great deal of respect from the public, especially when it was revealed they even hacked the phone of murder-victim Milly Dowler. Her family received £2m for the unforgivable intrusion.
The Mirror Group / Trinity Mirror
In another apparent bid to acquire celebrity secrets for gossip content, Mirror Group Newspapers – owned by Trinity Mirror – were found liable for data breaches of multiple celebrities. Eight well-known victims were paid over £1m in settlements for the effect the data breach had on them. The settlements covered the hack itself, psychological distress and compensation for the damage caused to the victim’s reputation.
Here are a few of the primary eight victims and their pay-outs:
- Sadia Frost, designer (again!): £260,000
- Paul Gascoigne, former football player: £188,000
- Shane Richie, Actor: £155,000
- Alan Yentob, creative director for the BBC: £85,000
Mirror Group Newspapers set aside an additional £16 million for further claims from thousands of other victims.
What to do as a victim
For the everyday citizen, data leaks can have a significant impact on a personal level. For the psychological harm caused, a victim of a data breach can be eligible to claim for thousands of pounds in compensation. We are all under a legal obligation under the Data Protection Act to protect the storage and use of all personal information, and we take breaches of this legal obligation very seriously.
Here at the Data Leak Lawyers, we are data law compensation specialists and are very experienced in bringing individual and group action claims for data leaks, breaches and hacks.
If you have been a victim of a data breach, get in touch with us now by calling 0800 634 7575 or fill out the form below for discrete and confidential help in bringing your claim for compensation.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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