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Can I Claim Compensation For A Passport Data Breach?

If you’ve suffered due to a passport data breach, you could be eligible to claim compensation. This could include if there is a data breach incident during the renewal of your passport. 

passport data breach

A guide on what you could do following a passport data breach

It is important to note that you can only claim if you suffered some form of material or non-material damage. Material damage entails any financial loss you may have experienced due to the data breach. You could claim for non-material damage if the data breach caused you any psychological harm

The organisation that was handling your personal data should also have exhibited positive wrongful conduct that caused the data breach.

Keep reading to find out more about passport data breach claims. Alternatively, contact our team of advisors at any time for free legal guidance about your claim. If our advisors think your case could be successful, they can connect you with one of our data breach solicitors.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Passport Data Breach?
  2. How Do You Check If You Were Affected By A Passport Data Breach?
  3. Claiming Compensation For Lost Passport Documents
  4. Is There A Responsibility To Record Lost Documents?
  5. Passport Data Breach Claims Calculator
  6. Start Your No Win No Fee Passport Data Breach Claim Now

What Is A Passport Data Breach?

A passport data breach could be a breach that has involved your passport or passport details in some way. It could also include if there is a data security incident at the HM Passport Office. 

For example, suppose an organisation had your details because you were in the process of renewing your passport. If your personal data was stolen because it was left out in the wrong place, and you were harmed in some way as a result, you could potentially claim compensation. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body that upholds information rights. According to their definition, a personal data breach is a breach of security that leads to the loss, unlawful destruction, alteration, access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal data. These could be accidental or deliberate and unlawful incidents, such as cybercrime. 

To be eligible to make a data breach claim, you must prove that:

  • A data breach did occur
  • You were harmed in some way, financially or psychologically
  • The breach occurred due to an organisation’s positive wrongful conduct

How Do You Check If You Were Affected By A Passport Data Breach?

Sometimes, if a data breach occurs, you may be notified by the faulting party. If they are aware of the breach and know it would somehow affect your rights and freedoms, they are obligated to inform you of it without unreasonable delay. They also must report the incident to the ICO within 72 hours. 

You may also discover your passport data breach by noticing the consequences. For example, if your passport details were taken by someone who wanted to steal your identity to access your bank account, you may notice a sudden loss of funds. 

Contact our advisors today to find out more about how you could claim if you were affected by a data breach. 

Claiming Compensation For Lost Passport Documents

If an organisation has informed you that your passport data has been breached, it is important you start your claim within a certain time limit for the claim to be valid. It could be time-barred if you attempt to start a claim after this time. We recommend that you start a claim as soon as possible, as it could make the claims process smoother and easier for you. 

The time limitations generally work as such:

  • 6 years to claim against a non-public body
  • 1 year to claim against a public body

Is There A Responsibility To Record Lost Documents?

As mentioned, if there is a data breach that infringes on the freedoms or rights of the data subject (you), the organisation must report the breach to the ICO within 72 hours. 

If your passport or passport details are lost or stolen, this could potentially affect your freedom or rights, so an organisation should report a passport data breach to the ICO. Organisations such as the HM Passport Office may also record the loss on a security log. 

Passport Data Breach Claims Calculator

This section looks in more detail at the types of damages you could potentially claim. The compensation table below shows figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) about how much you could potentially receive for non-material damages. Legal professionals use the JCG to help evaluate claims. 

It is important to note that you can claim for psychiatric damage even if there is no related financial loss. This is due to the case of Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc [2015], where the claimants suffered psychological damage with no related material damages. 

The Gulati & Others v MGN Limited [2015] case also meant that non-material damages can now be valued with the help of the JCG, similar to general personal injury claims

InjurySeverityAmountNotes
PsychiatricLess Severe£1,440 to £5,500Compensation will depend on how long the symptoms lasted and how much sleep and daily activities were impacted.
PsychiatricModerate£5,500 to £17,900There will have been marked improvement by the trial. The prognosis for recovery will be positive.
PsychiatricModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460Claimant will experience difficulties with relationships, education, general life, activities. However, there will be a good prognosis for recovery.
PsychiatricSevere£51,460 to £108,620Symptoms will seriously affect all areas of life. This includes education, work and relationships. The claimant may never recover to a pre-trauma level.
PTSDLess Severe£3,710 to £7,680After 1-2 years, any lasting symptoms will be minor and not disabling.
PTSDModerate£7,680 to £21,730Claimant will have already made a fair recovery. Any lasting symptoms will not be disabling.
PTSDModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180The claimant may still suffer some serious symptoms. However, the prognosis for recovery will be more optimistic.
PTSDSevere£56,180 to £94,470All aspects of life, including sleep, work, daily activities, relationships and education will be permanently and negatively effected.

Material damage could include financial loss or out of pocket costs you have had to pay due to the passport data breach. For example, if you paid for a new passport and an organisation lost it, you could potentially claim back the costs you would incur to buy a new one. 

You could prove material damages by providing receipts, bank statements or invoices. 

Get in touch today to learn more about what you could claim for a passport data breach. 

Start Your No Win No Fee Passport Data Breach Claim Now

You don’t need to hire legal representation to start a claim, but we always recommend it. Hiring a lawyer could give you a better chance for success, as they will have an intimate understanding of the claims process and guide you through every step. However, you may be concerned about the costs of hiring a data breach lawyer. 

Our solicitors can offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. What could this mean for you?

  • Not having to pay your solicitor their fee upfront or during the claims process
  • Your solicitor deducting a legally capped success fee only if your claim succeeds
  • Paying nothing for your solicitor’s work if your claim does not succeed

This type of agreement could benefit you if you have suffered material damages due to the data breach. If this sounds appealing to you, contact us today to find out more. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to offer free legal advice personalised to your claim. If they think your case could be successful, they can connect you with one of our solicitors who can help you start a data breach claim today. 

Government And Local Authority Data Breach Claim Resources

We hope you found this article about passport data breach claims helpful. For further helpful resources, please see below. 

Post Office Data Breach Claims – Learn how to claim compensation if you were affected by a Post Office data breach. 

Claim for Sending a Fax to the Wrong Person – Find out how to claim if a fax being sent to the wrong person caused a breach of your data. 

Am I Eligible to Claim Compensation for Stress After a Data Breach? – Our article explains if you could claim for stress caused by a data breach. 

Data Breach Guidance – The National Cyber Security Centre offers guidance on what a data breach could be. 

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 – Recent findings on cyber security incidents within businesses. 

Make a Data Protection Complaint – Government guidance on making a data protection complaint. 

Please get in touch if you have any further questions about passport data breach claims. 

Other Compensation Guides

Written by Morrissey

Edited by Victorine

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