If confidential information about you is distributed without your authority you may be entitled to compensation for that data breach. Whilst such a breach might come through a leak or hacking, equally it could arise through mistake or human error. For instance, recently it will have been seen that New Year’s honour’s recipients addresses and personal details were posted by the government online.
Confidential information might include contact details as in that instance, or medical information or financial information as other common examples.
The amount of compensation will depend on the individual facts of each case but typically personal details can involve a few thousand pounds, and medical and financial leaks attract slightly higher. Factors that will determine compensation include the extent and seriousness of the breach, whether there has been any financial loss in consequence, the extent of the distress and damage caused, the time frame over which the breach occurred and the action to correct the breach when realised.
Any organisation that holds data on you is under a duty to protect that data (under GDPR and Data Protection Act legislation) and ensure it is not shared without your authority, hence why the issue is becoming more and more relevant in the current social media, internet-driven world.
It is worth noting that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that upholds data privacy rights for individuals, has the power to impose fines on organisations found to be in breach of the legislation. The ICO does not award compensation to individuals, but any findings it makes against a company or organisation you may have had issue with is clearly persuasive in any related civil claim. That said you do not need to have a finding against an organisation by the ICO to be able to pursue a civil claim.
If you are concerned that you have suffered a data breach and damage and loss in consequence, please speak to Lime today. Data Breach claims, as a general rule, must be brought within six years of arising so if you are concerned it is important to investigate.
Lime consider matters on a case by case basis and can act under no win no fee agreement, where appropriate. Group actions where individuals suffering the same class of breach against one organisation are our most likely actions for data breaches, so please enquire if you are unsure if we are already acting on a particular organisation’s breach.