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The context of a data breach is incredibly important to consider, and is why some claims can settle for much higher values than others, such as a previous one we resolved for £20,000.
Ultimately, a claim for compensation is about assessing the impact that has been caused to a data breach victim. This can differ from person to person, and the context of an incident is one of the key things we need to consider, as we will outline below.
Data breach compensation settlements can be in the tens of thousands of pounds mark. Part of the reason for this is when you drill down the context of the data breach and how this has had an impact on the victim.
For example, we previously settled a claim for £20,000 on behalf of a client whose private medical information was leaked to other people. Whilst medical data breach compensation cases can attract these kinds of awards, given the nature of the information in question, when we talk about the context of a data breach, it is about specifics, such as who information has been exposed to. We cannot go into the full details in respect of this case for client confidentiality reasons but, ultimately, their private medical information was disclosed which resulted in the breakdown of relationships. Whilst this medical data leak should never have happened in the first place, the fact that the context resulted in such a significant impact is why we were able to achieve such a substantial settlement.
To further delve into the importance of the context of a data breach, we can give you some simple examples based on general cases that we have pursued, and actions that we have launched. One of the easiest ones to reference is the 56 Dean Street Clinic of 2015 where an email was sent to almost 800 people in relation to clinic services. The actual data breach disclosed the names and email addresses of those affected. However, the context that was important to consider was the fact that recipients were undergoing treatment for HIV. As such, what has actually happened is the HIV statuses of almost 800 people have been inadvertently disclosed. As you can appreciate, this is exactly the kind of information that people want to maintain confidentiality over.
In another simple example, a data breach that involves the name and address of someone could be bad enough in respect of the impact on the victim. Now let’s say that that name and address have been disclosed to a previous perpetrator of domestic violence where the victim has had to change their name and location. In this context, the incident becomes much more than just a simple data breach and could result in harassment or even a threat to safety.
As leading privacy compensation experts, Your Lawyers is used to helping thousands of people claiming compensation in a variety of circumstances that have caused distress and suffering as a result of breaches. We will always carefully assess what has happened and the impact on the individual, as well as the context of a privacy matter to be able to achieve the best settlement that we can.
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