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Halifax Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Halifax Data Breach

How To Make A Data Breach Claim Against Halifax

While banks have used safes to keep your money secure for years, over the last few years they’ve had to implement security features to keep another valuable commodity safe as well – your personal information. If they fail, and your personal data is leaked into the wrong hands, it can cause both financial and psychological harm. In this guide, we are going to review what harm a Halifax data breach could cause why you might be entitled to claim compensation for such a breach.

Halifax data breach claims guideThe laws regarding data security changed with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into UK law when The Data Protection Act 2018 was enacted. As a result of these new pieces of legislation, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the ability to impose financial penalties on any organisation who breaks data protection laws. Additionally, the breaches of the law could entitle you to compensation if your personal information is exposed.

Legal Expert would like to help if you’re considering a claim. We provide free legal advice in addition to a no-obligation assessment of your claim. If one of our advisors believes your claim has a chance of success, you could be referred to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors to progress your case.

To discuss your claim options today, please call us right away on 0800 073 8804. If you’d rather find out more before calling, please read the rest of this useful guide.

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A Guide To Claims Against Halifax For Data Breaches

You may have noticed over recent years that whenever you access a website, sign up for a service, make a purchase or book an appointment, you’re asked lots of questions about how your personal information is used. That might be in the form of questions on a booking form, tick boxes or pop-up boxes on websites. These are all related to the implementation of the GDPR.

They happen because the new rules mean organisations, including banks, have an obligation to ask your permission to use, store or share information about you. As well as keeping your personal data safe and secure, it’s essential that they only use it ways that you’ve previously agreed to.

For instance, just because you’ve provided personal information for the purpose of opening a bank account, those details can’t be used to send you marketing information unless you’ve explicitly agreed to this.  If the bank fails to meet any of their data protection obligations, and you’re harmed as a result, you could claim compensation for a breach in data security.

Claims for data breaches are time-limited. In general, the limitation period is 6-years but if the claim involves a breach of your human rights, this goes down to a single year. We’d always suggest that it’s a good idea to start the claim as early as you’re able to. Not only will you find it easier to recall how you’ve been affected, but your solicitor will probably find it easier to obtain any supporting evidence required.

After you’ve completed this article on Halifax data breach claims, why not ask one of our advisors for advice on how to proceed? Remember, even if you don’t go on to make a claim, the advice we provide is free.

What Is A Data Breach Claim Against Halifax?

While this article is about claiming Halifax data breach compensation, the details within it could really apply to any other bank or financial institution – but what is a personal data breach? Well, the GDPR explains that it is where a security flaw means personal information is disclosed, lost, damaged, accessed or altered by methods which you’ve not already agreed to.

The act that leads to a data breach doesn’t matter. Whether the act is illegal, purposeful or accidental, the organisation responsible could still face action from the ICO and receive a substantial financial penalty.

If a company finds out about a security breach where data is leaked, they need to let anybody who’s affected know when it took place, how it happened and what data was exposed within 72 hours of discovery.

To find out if you’ve got a valid claim for the harm caused by a data breach, please contact the team at Legal Expert today and your claim will be assessed for free.

What Information Is Protected By The GDPR?

The GDPR lists personal information as any data which can be used to identify an individual directly or indirectly. Such information could include names, addresses, gender details, email addresses, identification numbers, ethnicity information, telephone number, bank account number or credit card number.

Within the GDPR there are several principles which data controllers—those who define why and how data is used—must show adherence to. These include:

  • Telling the data subject (the individual whose data is being processed) of the reason behind the data processing.
  • Processing must be carried out within the law, fairly and it must be transparent to the data subject.
  • Data cannot be retained for any longer than is necessary.
  • Processing of personal data must be secure and confidential.
  • The minimum required amount of data is all that’s allowed to be processed.
  • Any personal data that is stored must be kept up to date.

If you believe a company has breached data protection rules and caused you to suffer because of some type of data breach, please let us know what happened and we’ll review your case for free.

Information Commissioners’ Office Action Taken Against Banks

In this section, we’re going to look at a security flaw relating to Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) which happened prior to the implementation of the GDPR that could’ve resulted in an ICO fine if it had happened more recently.

An investigation found that if somebody opened a Halifax account by providing 3 correct pieces of information (name, address and date of birth), they would automatically get access to other accounts with Bank of Scotland (and vice versa).

Potentially, this meant anybody who knew the correct personal details of an HBOS account holder could see financial information about the victim including other current accounts, savings accounts, mortgages or loans. The investigation did find out that the information was read-only so wouldn’t have meant money could be moved from those accounts.

Following the investigation, HBOS made changes to prevent customers from automatically seeing link accounts when opening a new account.

Source: www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2015/10/huge-halifax-and-bank-of-scotland-data-security-flaw-exposed-by-moneysavingexpertcom

Examples Of How Banks Could Breach Your Data Privacy

In this part of our Halifax data breach guide, we’re going to consider some examples of how a data breach could happen. They include:

  • If personally identifiable information is found on documentation which wasn’t disposed of securely.
  • Where a USB memory stick, laptop or tablet containing personal information is lost and ends up in the wrong hands.
  • When your financial information is accessed by a member of staff without a good business reason.
  • If a letter containing details about you is posted to the wrong customer.
  • If a bank computer system is affected by a cyber-attack and your information is leaked to criminals.

Whatever causes a banking data breach to occur, if it’s inflicted harm (including stress or anxiety), please let us know and we’ll investigate for free whether you could be eligible for any compensation.

Investigation And Enforcement By The Information Commissioners’ Office

As we touched on at the start of this article, the Information Commissioner’s Office has the ability to investigate any company who breaks data protection rules and issue fines to them accordingly. If you want them to look at a Halifax data breach, the first thing you’ll need to do is to follow the bank’s own complaints procedure first.

If you don’t agree with the outcome of the complaint, and you’ve followed all escalation routes such as passing it to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), you can either contact the ICO or begin legal action against the bank.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if an ICO investigation is carried out and the bank is found to be in the wrong, while they might receive a financial penalty, you won’t receive any compensation. The only way that outcome will be achieved is if a legal claim against the bank is successful.

If there’s been a 3-month gap since the last meaningful contact with the bank and you’re still not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, please contact our team today and we’ll review your case for free to see if a solicitor is able to start legal action for compensation on your behalf.

What Types Of Damages Could You Be Awarded?

We’re now going to look at what compensation could be claimed for a possible Halifax data breach. In most cases, your solicitor will try to break the claim down to two main components:

  • Material damages which are used to try and cover any pecuniary (financial) losses caused by the data breach.
  • Non-material damages which aim to compensate you for any psychological injuries resulting from the data breach.

It’s not quite as easy as that though, your solicitor will need to delve further into things to see if there are any long-term problems that might also need to be compensated for.

For example, when looking at the psychological damage that results from anxiety, depression or distress, your solicitor will look at if your ability to cope with life, work or education will suffer in the future. They’ll also look at the long-term effects on your relationships with others.

In a similar way, not only will your solicitor look at whether you’ve lost any money already following the data breach, they’ll try and work out the value of any future problems i.e. if you’ve been the victim of identity theft, will your credit file and ability to obtain credit in the future be affected at all?

As you can no doubt see, the process of getting a compensation claim right can be rather complex. It’s one of the main reasons we advise you to take on specialist legal representation. If you let one of our team of solicitors take your claim forwards, they’ll review all aspects of your suffering before submitting your claim to try and ensure you’re compensated fairly.

Please contact our team today if you would like us to assess whether your claim is viable for free.

Estimated Settlements For Data Breaches By Banks

We’re commonly asked when discussing claims against Halifax for data breaches, as well as other types of claim, how much compensation could be paid. In reality, because each claim is different, it’s difficult to say until we’ve assessed your claim properly. However, the table below does show some example compensation figures for injuries that could be caused by data breaches.

Importantly, the figures are the same as personal injury claim compensation amounts. That’s because in the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015] heard in the Court of Appeal, the judges agreed that data breach claims could be made for psychological damage when no financial losses were incurred and compensation should be made in line with personal injury amounts. We’ve therefore created a table detailing potential payouts. These figures come from the Judicial College Guidelines which courts refer to when assessing settlement amounts.

Type of ClaimSeveritySettlement RangeComments
Psychiatric Damage Severe£51,460 to £108,620This settlement range covers cases where the injured party will struggle to deal with life, work or education. Furthermore, their relationships will suffer, treatment is unlikely to help and they'll remain vulnerable in the future Overall there will be a very poor prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460While the injured party will suffer significant problems similar to those listed above, there will be a much more optimistic prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage Moderate£5,500 to £17,900This settlement range distinguishes itself from above because although the victim will have suffered similar symptoms, they will have already made good progress and a good prognosis will be offered.
Psychiatric Damage Less SevereUp to £5,500Minor symptoms that fully resolve within a short space of time.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe£56,180 to £94,570PTSD symptoms like flashbacks, mood disorders and nightmares will cause a permanent effect on the victims life. They won't be able to work or function at pre-trauma levels and every aspect of their life will be affected.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate£7,680 to £21,730In general, cases in this category are made when the victim has largely recovered and any ongoing symptoms won't be seriously disabling.

To try and ensure you’re compensated fairly, as part of the claims process your solicitor will ask you to attend a local medical assessment. That’s because compensation is based on the severity of your injuries. Therefore, during the appointment, a specialist will look at any medical records and ask you questions about how you’ve been affected by the data breach.

After the meeting has concluded, a report will be written which explains the specialist’s findings. The report will then be sent to your solicitor.

How To Take Civil Action Against A Bank

So, to reiterate what we’ve discussed so far –  if you’re looking to start a data breach claim against Halifax, the first step to take is to raise a clear and concise formal complaint directly with the bank. Once the bank has carried out an internal investigation, you’ll receive a response with their findings. You can then choose to escalate the complaint or accept the bank’s findings.

After it’s been 3-months since you were last contacted meaningfully by the bank, you could ask a specialist solicitor to start legal proceedings if you’re still not happy with the bank’s response. If you find a solicitor who’ll take your case on, they’ll review what’s happened and assess whether they can try to negotiate an amicable settlement with the bank or whether you’ll need to ask the ICO to investigate the matter further.

Legal Expert has a team of specialist solicitors who could help you claim. Why not call us today and let a member of our team assess your claim for free and see if it can be passed to a solicitor so that a claim can begin right away?

What Services Could A Data Breach Solicitor Provide?

Before looking at how a solicitor could help with a Halifax data breach claim, we’re going to look at how you choose the right solicitor to help you. Some claimants look to others for recommendations, some search for “data breach solicitors near me”, and others read online reviews. While it’s possible any of those actions could help, you could save a lot of time by simply calling Legal Expert today.

We have a team of specialist solicitors who’ve worked on cases for our clients for decades. If your claim is accepted, you’ll be assigned a solicitor who will handle all communication with the defendant on your behalf. If you have any queries or if you’re unsure about any legal jargon, your solicitor will be on hand throughout the case to help. Furthermore, they’ll keep you updated regularly as things progress. The main aim of your solicitor will always be to try and make sure that you receive the maximum damages possible in your case.

No Win No Fee Claims Against Halifax For Data Breaches

After years of supporting our clients, we know that one of the things most claimants worry about when starting a data breach claim is the amount it will cost to hire a solicitor. To remove some of that worry (and to lower your financial risk) our team of solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on.

If an advisor passes your case to a solicitor, they’ll review it to check that it appears viable. If they’re happy to work on your claim, they’ll give you a Conditional Fee Agreement to sign (or CFA) to review. The CFA is the contract between you and your solicitor which explains what work they’ll carry out for you. It will also show you that:

  • You don’t have to pay any upfront fees to start the case.
  • There are no hidden charges or solicitor’s fees payable during the case.
  • If the claim is lost, you’re not liable for any solicitor’s fees at all.

Also, within the CFA, you’ll find details of the success fee payable if your solicitor wins compensation for you. This fee is used to cover the work your solicitor has completed, and it forms a small percentage of the compensation award. To put your mind at ease, success fees are capped by law and you’ll know the exact percentage you’ll pay from the start as it is clearly highlighted in the CFA.

To find out if you could claim for a Halifax data breach using a No Win No Fee agreement, please discuss your case with our team today.

Talk To Our Data Breach Team

Thank you for taking time out to read our article on claims against Halifax for data breaches. We hope that you have decided that you’d like Legal Expert to help you start a data breach claim. If that’s true, here’s how you can get in touch:

So that you can begin when it’s most convenient, our claims line operates on a 24-7 basis.

Related Services

This is the final section in this article relating to Halifax data breach claims. As a way of providing additional support for you now and in the future, we’ve listed some more of our guides below as well as some extra links which might prove useful:

Experian Data Breach Claims – Advice on claiming for data breaches by this and other credit reference agencies.

Accident At Work Claims – An updated guide which explains when you could claim for injuries caused by a workplace accident.

Allergic Reaction To Medication Claims – Information on claiming for suffering caused after you were given the wrong medication.

Object To The Use Of Data – An ICO guide explaining when you can object to your data being used.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – This NHS guide explains the symptoms, causes and treatment options for PTSD.

Employment Information – A government guide explaining what personal information your employer can retain without your permission.

 

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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